A reflective note for this Friday and next Tuesday

Who are we in this strange time? What are we doing here?

The news is incessant. In the face of so much immediate threat, destruction and suffering, we find ourselves drawn…

  • to find relief and joy wherever we can…
  • to heal ourselves and those we love…
  • to expend some of our precious time, attention and resources doing our part to address the threats, destruction and suffering.

Yet these disturbing dynamics seem to persist, to increase, and even become constant companions in our hearts, our minds, our daily awareness and the flood of information – in our lives and in the world we share.

So perhaps we are also called to free some of our precious time, attention and resources to address the SOURCES of all the threats, destruction and suffering – the economic and political systems, the awareness, the worldviews, the stories we as societies tell ourselves about what we are doing here and why we have set things up the ways we have, such that these things are now undoing our future.[1]

And perhaps even more importantly, we need to support – to invest in – the positive visions, practical possibilities and initiatives that just might lead us to – and flourish in – the better world we all know is possible, the world that works for all, a planetary aliveness within which all life can flourish. Wouldn’t that be an amazing “return on investment”!

We are each a part of all this. Some of us decide to take time to reflect on our roles. This is Thanksgiving, this is harvest time, this is a time for gratitude and learning, a time in which we collectively reap what we have collectively sown – and a time to prepare seeds for the next planting.

Giving Tuesday was innovated in 2012 to shift the post-Thanksgiving consumerism of Black Friday and Cyber Monday (and the hectic, shallow Buy Now!! Xmas Spirit) back into the deeper spirit of generosity, thankfulness, love and reflection that could and should sanctify our year-end celebrations. (Note that the older Buy Nothing Day is also intended to counter the consumerism of Black Friday.)

So I ask you, in your reflections: Please consider a tax-deductible contribution to the Co-Intelligence Institute as part of your year-end giving. Your support is vital to our work, which seeks to live into the transformational calling hinted at above….[2]

Thank you.


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[1] In this emotional and informative short video from the 2007 Story Field Conference I speak about this difficult subject:

[2] For more on our work see https://www.tomatleeblog.com/archives/175327902 which describes some of our main ongoing collaborations. In addition, new collaborations have been growing with innovators in online engagement, knowledge creation and sharing, transformative questions, self-managed communities, democratic transformation, and visionary fiction.


Tom Atlee, The Co-Intelligence Institute, POB 493, Eugene, OR 97440

Evoking and engaging the wisdom and resourcefulness of the whole on behalf of the whole

*** Visit the Wise Democracy Pattern Language Project ***


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