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Embracing Hope in the Present Day

Updated: Oct 5


Embracing Hope in the Present Day

Who We Are

We are Barbara R. Krasner and Douglas W. Schoeninger, psychotherapists: Karen Krasner Allen, care giver and patient advocate; and Russ Parker, Anglican priest. (www.trustcounts.org)

Nelson Mandela and President Frederick William de Klerk

Negotiating an end to apartheid, 1993.


We are authors and contributors to our recent book, Lifeblood of Trust for Real Relationship: Listen to Hear, Find Your Voice, Risk Your Truth (2019. Den Haag, Nederland: Acco Nederland). (To order go to www.trustcounts.org or Amazon.com.)

What Are We Doing?

We are moved in this present moment of history to build on our individual experience, and apply insights from Lifeblood of Trust that are especially relevant to the social unrest in the United States and other parts of the world. We are convinced that the way forward requires persons from conflicting sides to meet, listen (listen to hear), speak (find your voice), take risks (risk your truth), and respect and learn from each other.

We have been moved by John Lewis’ challenge to all and each of us: We are going to get there. We have to be hopeful. Never give up, never give in. Keep moving on. (His Truth is Marching On: John Lewis and the Power of Hope, page 6. Jon Meacham, August 2020. New York, NY: Random House.) John Lewis was a former Democratic Congressman from Atlanta, Georgia, USA, and lifelong civil rights advocate.

We reach for hope as our only alternative. It fuels us. It’s hard when you feel estranged, mistaken, and misunderstood, to cling to a hope when you are inclined to give up; to discover and act on a way forward, resisting the urge to shut down and demonize another (living or dead).

o Is there a way through violently competing claims, often for the same ground?

o Is there a way to mutually consider and imagine each other’s entitlements? How do we find merit in each side and find ways toward negotiating time and again?

o Can we disclose our own loyalties (and those we bring in spirit) and disclose the basis for our specific claims?

o Can we be open to considering the conflicting loyalties and claims of those across the table, including those they bring in spirit?

o What does it take to discover what we have in common with each other?

o What simple movement can start the process to connect (e.g., addressing each person by name)?

§ Names are powerful.

§ You are a person, as am I.

§ The lack of addressing people by name is a trap and can add layers to our perceived differences.

o What is the potential for a relationship over time? We can lose each other. People don’t always know:

§ How much they are asking from the other, and the “punch in an over reach”;

§ How other factors are impacting each other when immediate and unaddressed; and,

§ What we sacrifice when we miss or lose each other.

Do we stay stuck in enmity or search for ground in common?

We all need safety, we all need a surviving planet, we all need to be heard even when we disagree.

John Lewis reminded us that violence is not a movement. We tend to focus on differences, when in fact we have more in common than we think.

There is no short cut.

To embrace hope, we have to develop

the capacity to imagine another’s realities and

to risk our truths at the same time.


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