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NCDD-DISCUSSION  November 2013, Week 1

NCDD-DISCUSSION November 2013, Week 1

Subject:

Re: Support for Public Engagement is Absent/Weak

From:

John Backman <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

John Backman <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Thu, 7 Nov 2013 13:01:41 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (68 lines)

Hi, Mike,

A slightly different slant on your comment below (and I'm not a historian,
so feel free to correct me if I'm wrong): I wonder how many Americans
realize that one of the cornerstone debates about our "overall
direction"--the role of the states vs. the federal government--grew out of
our history as 13 nation-states coming together in confederation. I don't
think this dismisses the value of the state-vs.-federal debate, but it might
put it in a context that allows us to see our own opinions in a different
way. Maybe this is part of our "national mythopoeia" (a good word here, I
agree).

John Backman
www.dialogueventure.com 
www.huffingtonpost.com/john-backman 
Board member, NCDD
Author, Why Can't We Talk? Christian Wisdom on Dialogue as a Habit of the
Heart (published by and available from SkyLight Paths Publishing)




-----Original Message-----
From: Michael Allan [mailto:[log in to unmask]] 
Sent: Thursday, November 07, 2013 9:30 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Cc: John Backman
Subject: Re: Support for Public Engagement is Absent/Weak

John said:
> ... from what I've seen, few people have a clue what a citizen is--or, 
> rather, what a fully articulated role of a citizen might be. That 
> would point to education (from an early age) as one key to addressing 
> the issue--but such education, of course, is a very long term 
> proposition.

I believe we must agree on where we come from and where we're going.
You use the word "spirituality" elsewhere and I think that's roughly
correct.  Narrow issues (say health care in the US) become entangled in an
implicit debate on the overall direction of society, a debate that is left
unspoken and unresolved.  Even the best possible system of governance cannot
steer us correctly when the course is unknown.
The setting of that course in an open society is necessarily a matter of
religion, roughly speaking, though I prefer the term "mythopoeia".
This seems so obvious a hangup to me that I think it must be a topic of
research in some circles.

Mike


John Backman said:
> Michael, I've been pondering the same thing (though perhaps I'd use 
> different words). Roger's thinking has reminded me that, from what 
> I've seen, few people have a clue what a citizen is--or, rather, what 
> a fully articulated role of a citizen might be. That would point to 
> education (from an early age) as one key to addressing the issue--but 
> such education, of course, is a very long term proposition.
> 
> John Backman
> www.dialogueventure.com
> www.huffingtonpost.com/john-backman
> Board member, NCDD
> Author, Why Can't We Talk? Christian Wisdom on Dialogue as a Habit of 
> the Heart (published by and available from SkyLight Paths Publishing)

---

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