Are you satisfied with the direction of your country or the world? These days, a lot of people are unsatisfied. In the United States, according to the polling giant Gallup, satisfaction with the direction of the country has been less than 50% for over 15 years.

But from where does a country’s direction arise? In a democracy, the direction should arise from the will of the people. So how can the people be dissatisfied with their own will? This phenomenon results from the how decisions are made by society. The operation of democratic government should merge the disparate views of the people to come up with an optimal outcome—for the good of all. But what if the will of the people is very polarized, as it is now?

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Empowerment to the People!

Research has shown that Americans live one of the most polarized times in history. When the people are thus polarized, then the expression of the people’s will becomes a contest of power Either change is left to chance, or one side “wins” through some form of legal, political, or even physical force. This will not result in a sustainable society. It will result in collapse, which in the end will be worse for everyone.

Sure, it’s a complex topic but here are there a few things we can all do to make some progress on it.

  • Don’t let others polarize you. The media, campaign strategists, politicians, and other special interests groups have their own agendas. They are very skilled at influencing others. But you can counteract this by asking questions, verifying what is said, and thinking about what really makes sense.
  • Engage in dialogue. Before criticizing others, see to understand why what they are saying makes sense to them. Assume they have positive intentions.
  • Amplify the positive. Rather than focus on what is wrong, we need to focus on what is right and nurture it.

To explore this further, see the some other options below.

Take Action

Here are some actions you can take now for further research.

  • For a good book on how to conduct effective dialogue about organizational and political issues, see Yankelovich's Magic of Dialogue.
  • To keep advised of future publications and events on this topic, consider joining our mailing list.
  • Think about joining our conscious dialogue group if you want to improve your self dialogue. Being able to conduct dialogue effectively is related to the dialogue we have with ourselves.
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