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Colorado shooting tragedy: crisis/opportunity?

This post was submitted for NCDD members’ consideration today by supporting member Karen Hirsch, in response to the Colorado theatre shooting on Thursday night…

Tragedy/Crisis/Opportunity:  I’m hoping very much that some in the NCDD community are seriously considering mobilizing to offer dialogue opportunities to the people of our beloved country — including members of Congress. I vividly recall a friend who works closely with many Congressional members saying that the immediate period following the shooting of then Congresswoman Gabby Gifford and others in her Phoenix office could have been an especially powerful time to engage people in deep and meaningful dialogue across the aisles because of the openings created by this shocking event.

We know that effective dialogue processes mediated wisely create opportunities for people to connect to their own and others’ deep yearnings; and that from this deeper level of shared human needs, strategies (policies, etc.) that better meet them can possibly be co-created. Especially when people are experiencing shock, fear, confusion and other strong emotions, the willingness and capacity of facilitators to provide safe spaces for perhaps very intense emotions to be expressed/released and witnessed seems a key ingredient for creating sufficient opening within oneself to be more present and think more clearly and creatively in the dialogue. Tom Atlee wrote eloquently about this in his NCDD Discussion List posting on “Civility” (Jan. 22-23, 2011). (Archives accessible here.)

I believe the idea of some kind of NCDD crisis response team was discussed a while back. Perhaps this latest tragedy can be a catalyst for further discussion and possible action in this direction.

With great respect,
Karen Hirsch

This post was submitted by a member of the NCDD community. NCDD members are leaders and future leaders in the fields of public engagement, conflict resolution, and community problem solving. You, too, can post to the NCDD blog by completing the Add-to-Blog form at www.ncdd.org/submit.

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