I went to hear the Dalai Lama speak on Saturday at Qwest Field. A lot of his talk really resonated with me. He spoke, in significant part, about peace and non-violence.
Peace, he said, is not merely the absence of war. Peace is in how we address conflict. There are conflicts everywhere on every scale. This is natural and normal and not, in itself, a bad thing. There are global conflicts, national conflicts, regional conflicts, community conflicts, and conflicts at work and in our families. He said that the path to conflict resolution was not through violence, but through dialog. The Dalai Lama is a big fan of dialog.
More, he said that it isn't enough to acknowledge the principle. It isn't enough to accept the principle. It isn't enough to adopt the principle. We must act on the principle.
Let us act on these principles. We can open dialog in our homes with our families and in our workplaces. Let us act on these principles in our community by working to establish dialog over the conflicts within Seattle Public Schools.
Seattle Public Schools has conflicts. There was - and continues to be - conflict regarding the Denny-Sealth co-location, conflict over math instruction, conflict over the elimination of the AP European History option for 10th grade students at Roosevelt, conflict over the Southeast Initiative, conflict over program placement, conflict everywhere. There is not, however, much dialog anywhere. This blog provides some opportunity for dialog, but its structure allows only limited opportunity for real interactivity. For genuine dialog, people really need to be face to face.
The trick to getting started is to get started. So let's pick a conflict and invite people to a dialog. Where should we begin? Something of the right size for which the timing is appropriate. Is the Strategic Plan too big a place to start? Is it too early to discuss planning for BEX IV? Does the Southeast Initiative offer us anything to talk about? Student Assignment? Program Placement? Who wants to have a dialog with the district staff and on what topic? Let's see if we can find a path to conflict resolution through dialog.