April 29, 2010

Why I Want Elephant to Survive.

“As long as people are communicating there is the potential  for change.”

“Dialogue aims to increase mutual understanding and respect, not only among those with different political convictions, social positions and economic power, but also among people of different cultural, ethnic and religious backgrounds. At its best, dialogue can result in a collective sense of shared goals, enabling us to address the most important issues of all: What kind of future world do we want to live in? How can we work together to solve the problems facing humankind today, and begin creating that future? This does not necessarily imply a common approach to every issue, but without such a constructive dialogue the future is less likely to become one that we would want.” (United Nations University, 2001)

Elephant Journal is a diverse group of people speaking up and speaking out. I imagine it as a mosaic of voices. Each voice is a tile and when the tiles are placed together patterns emerge and shapes take form.

These voices are not just those of the writers.

“Elephant includes and fosters the unique voice of the reader.”

When the readers and the writers exchange thoughts and ideas they begin to sew seeds of change. Communication and dialogue nurture  the seeds and encourages them  to grow to fruition. Elephant Journal provides  fertile ground for interaction.  It is up to the readers and writers to decide what they want to plant, cultivate and harvest.

Elephant Journal is a community, but the word community does not always translate into like-mindedness. Elephant Journal informs, challenges and asks that we look at life through many different lenses and perspectives.

The following paragraph by Terry Tempest Williams is from her book Leap. It is a favorite of mine because it addresses the complexities of being in community and the importance of dialogue/communication.

“The middle path makes me wary. It can be frightening, mistaken for a place of safety and moderation. I am not entirely comfortable here. Never having been attracted to moderation of any kind. I have courted an intensity of extremes where I know what I am facing and where I chose to stand. But in the middle of my life, I am coming to see the middle path as a walk with wisdom where conversations of complexity can be found, that the middle path is the path of movement. This interests me. Life is not so predictable. I am forced to listen more carefully. In the right and left worlds, the stories are largely set; there is much to defend at the expense of the other. We become missionaries for a position, yes, exactly, no doubt about it, practioners of the missionary position. Variety is lost. Creativity is lost in our inability to make love with the world.” (P188-189)

Elephant Journal invites conversations that are complex.

This is why Elephant is necessary.

This is why I want Elephant to survive.


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elephant journal has until June 17, at which point our loan runs out, and we either fall into the net that is our community, or we bow out.

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