Questions worth pursuing
By Grace Lee Boggs
Special to The Michigan Citizen
Last week, Rich Feldman and other Boggs Center board members led 25 visitors from many different countries and U.S. cities on a “Learning Journey” to give them a sense of how work, food Production, Education, Community, are being re-imagined and redefined from the ground up in devastated, deindustrialized Detroit.
The journey was initiated and included best-selling author Meg Wheatley who recently released “So far From Home: Lost and found in our Brave New World,” a book dedicated to “warriors for the human spirit,” in today’s life-destroying world.
It included meetings with, among others, Church of the Messiah pastor Barry Randolph; New Work & Culture inventor Fritzhof Bergman, Boggs Educational Collective’s Julia Putman, Catherine Ferguson Academy’s Asenath Andrews, Allied Media Conference‘s Jenny Lee, Peace Zones Ron Scott, Feedom Freedom Growers Wayne and Myrtle Curtis .
On the final evening these questions were among those raised by the visitors:
- n How independent can we really be from the pursuit of jobs and money and what does that mean for education?
- n How do I channel anger both for the good of this city and in my own community?
- n What brought you to Martin Luther King’s writings on non-violence?
- n What is fundamentally different about being an activist today versus in the past?
- n How can we let go of and move on from the false promises of industrialism while retaining the values of industrialism, assuming there was something positive about industrialism?
- n How can we learn to love those that we think hate us?
- n How will the people in Detroit find common ground to get where you want to go?
- n How do we avoid marginalizing someone else, while we are trying to recreate community?
- n What have you learned about building leadership around you?
- n As a young person how do I use the values I have learned about this weekend to choose my work?
- n How do I do my work and not feel alone?
- n Here in Detroit it seems one group of leaders and friends has dealt with anger and disappointment and turned it into productivity. Others have not. How do we deal with healing and mental health intervention needed to prepare ourselves for the future?
- n Since we are from everywhere and living through huge transitions, what supports do we put into place to help one another?
- n What should happen next?
- n As we move from the industrial age to the information age what will happen to our consumption habits? Will our consumerism evolve?
- n How is the humanism of a multicultural, multiracial, sustainable activism different from a color blind humanism?
- n What role if any does the U.S. electoral system play in these changes? What role does non-violence play?
- n What do you love most about this city ?
- n What qualities would you consider essential in a transformational leader?
- n How do we prevent ourselves from succumbing to command and control as we try to move forward?
- n How would this weekend be different if it took place in China 50 years from now?
- n This movement seems to be driven by values and desire for common ground. Can you talk about the importance of common language in this movement?
- n How do people justify being consciously cruel to one another?
- n How do you see empire and nation state structures of governance evolving in the future?
- n How have you managed to continue to inspire others in the movement?
These questions are worth pursuing.