A Vital Conversation
Talking About the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
July 13, 2014
“The purpose of a Vital Conversation is not to win an argument,
but to win a friend and advance civilization.”
Assumptions of Appreciative Inquiry
- In every human being and organization something works.
- What we focus on becomes our reality.
- Reality is created in the moment, and there are multiple realities.
- Being present to another person influences the person in some way.
- People have more confidence and comfort to journey to the future (the unknown) when they carry forward part of the past (the known.)
- If we carry parts of the past forward, they should be what are best about the past.
- It is important to value and celebrate differences.
- The language we use creates our reality.
Topic: The current situation in Israel and Gaza bring sadness and concern to the whole human family. The people of the Kansas City Area, along with friends and family throughout the world, desire to come together, share thoughts, share prayers and envision a more hopeful world. We come together in respect and openness to better know each other and to be known by others.
Questions: These can be shared best in one-on-one conversations. It is very important that each participant is given opportunity to speak and that all participants listen with respect.
- Share a story about your life experience that might help others understand what the conflict means to you and how it impacts you.
- What are your deepest concerns when conflict arises?
- What about the current situation is difficult to sort out in your own mind or talk about with others? Do you find yourself pulled in different directions as you think about the full range of beliefs, values, hopes, and concerns?
- What do you most hope for in this situation in regard to the wonderfully diverse community and the interfaith relationships we have in greater Kansas City?
- Imagine opening the paper five years from now and there is a headline that an agreement has been made between Israeli and Palestinian leadership and that this agreement is widely seen as likely to be sustainable. It is also an agreement that is good enough in your eyes. What was agreed to? What was gained? What was given up? What aspects of the process were especially helpful? What happened between now and that time in the future to make the agreement possible?
- What can you do in the present situation to ease the suffering and move toward a better future?
Prayer: God Who births the future – Touch our heartstrings; bring your song to life in us. We are chased by your extravagant joy into new territory. You turn our dark struggles into shouts of hosanna, making miracles of us. We see it with hindsight; always you were here and there in infinite possibility. Lead us today by your gentle wisdom. Amen