Our Guiding Principles
The way we show up matters. Being present together allows us to show up authentically and in service of something greater than ourselves. Mindfully gathering and engaging with one another invites openness of mind, heart, and will, along with growth toward collective consciousness and caring for the whole. Through our work, we tend to the quality of presence we share with one another, as well as to the quality of presence we invite others to bring into conversation.
Empathy is the language of the heart. It is present when we connect to the human emotion of another person’s experience. Empathy offers a bridge across difference and a window into the humanity of others; it shows up when we listen with the same passion we want to be heard. Experiencing empathy reminds us we are all connected and helps us humanize the tough stuff in life.
Curiosity transforms us. Embracing curiosity breaks open the mind, and the heart. Judgment can’t reside where curiosity is alive. We practice and grow our ability to stay curious by embracing questions more than seeking answers, and by staying in inquiry longer than we’re used to - to avoid rushing to resolutions, solutions, or conclusions. When it seems nothing new is possible, curiosity is where we aim to go.
Acting from a place of generosity is the antidote to the scarcity narrative, which pervades public discourse and elevates individualism at the expense of communal care. We believe resources exist in abundance; there is enough for everyone to be made whole. Courageous generosity confronts us with our own freedom and invites us to ask ourselves: what will be our contributions to communal well being and how are we sharing resources so that everyone can be made whole?
Moving toward Equity
Equity is what’s possible when we act on and embody the belief that all people matter and have equal worth, regardless of roles, titles, or status. Equity is powered by dignity and married to justice - the public expression of love. We strive to hold equity at the center of everything we do. To this end, we do not approach conversation with the intention to be neutral; our work is always intended to move us toward dignified equity, justice, and love.
Trust is essential in order to achieve any significant change. Where trust abounds, we can move through fear, find the courage to be vulnerable, and feel safe enough to lean into real conversation. Just as a garden cannot grow without water, common life cannot grow without trust. Building trust requires deliberate relationship building that nurtures empathy, curiosity, generosity, and equity as we learn to be together authentically and work in service of the whole.
Photo Credit: Jessica Bolduc, Anishinaabe kwe, 4Rs Youth Movement