Let’s Talk

I think we all just really suck at conflict.

Highly charged cultural conversations are happening right this very minute all over the country. Whether we find ourselves at our family dinner table discussing a celebrity scandal, at work discussing breaking news, or in the company of friends over drinks on the weekend — people are talking.

But more and more Americans are leaving these conversations with feelings of anger, mistrust, and downright dread. Some respond so deeply and so intensely to challenging conversations,they develop distaste for discussion and interaction with others in general. “I don’t talk politics” they say. But is shutting down really the answer? How can we express our concern over the “Divisiveness that permeates American life if we are unwilling and unable to talk about the divide?

Some suggest that political correctness is the cause for disharmony and strained social relationships in modern American society. Political correctness has become a perjorative term used largely by those concerned with exposing correctness when it is abused or overused, citing only the most absurd examples. But political correctness defined as the idea that people should, “Take care not to use language or behavior in a way that could offend a group of people,” is hard to oppose. I mean it sounds like the sort of thing that just makes life and getting along a little easier. Are we all just too sensitive?  Don’t think so.

I think we all just really suck at conflict.

Social media by design emphasizes and celebrates the individual. Each of our social networks is carefully curated to shield us from things we don’t want to see. We can simply “swipe left” on any human being or idea that doesn’t fit into our personal worldview. We can join “groups” of other like-minded folks, never having to travel too far outside of our comfort zone. When a foreign concept is introduced we can instantly decide whether to Accept IT or ATTACK IT. In this world a “thumbs up” is expected to express all of the joy I felt hearing the good news about your dad coming home from the hospital, and a simple sad face let’s you know that I am sorry to about your company’s layoffs.

All of these things are harder to do face-to-face. Friendships can be made or lost in a New York minute in the online world, having an impact on how we speak to and treat each other in real life.

I think that we become triggered because social media has gives us the illusion of ‘sameness” — which is almost always destroyed by the reality of diversity. By the messiness of life. The more we step on these social and emotional landmines, the more we want to retreat to the comfort of our safest spaces.

We need to start talking again. We need to be real again. We need to be OK with not agreeing again. We need to start thinking again. America needs to learn to handle differences constructively again.

Nov 6 is Coming – Get Inspired!
Join friends and neighbors on Tuesday, October 30 at East Falls Forward (your friendly neighborhood RCO) for food, drinks, and inspiration to get out and vote!

We’ll have some cool zoning stuff to address first – find out the latest on the Kelly House improvements – then we’ll here from special guest Lawanda Horton and Henry Sauter, Founders of Mission Incorporated, about their pop-up voting project and impressions from their travels around the city engaging voters. And don’t forget there’ll be snacks, free beer, and other refreshments.

When: Tuesday, October 30 (doors open at 6:30PM)
Where: 3721 Midvale Avenue (the BuLogics building — MAP LINK)

Listen, Socialize, Eat, Drink, Be Merry, Be Inspired!

Mission Incorporated on G-Town Radio! Tune into 92.9FM every Wednesday at 1pm for community info you can’t get anywhere else: events, services, organizations, and opportunities for our neck of NW Philly.

Mission Incorporated
Lawanda R. Horton Sauter, MS (President/CEO)
Business & Professional Development Solutions
5537 Germantown Avenue, 19144
You can also email them or follow on Facebook.



Lawanda Horton Sauter is a native New Yorker and professional fundraiser. She moved to Philly in 2006 with her husband, Henry, who was attending law school here. The couple created Mission Incorporated to provide advisory and consulting services, specializing in grassroots fundraising for non-profits. FUN FACT: Both Lawanda & Henry share a background in Performing Arts  – Lawanda as an actor/rapper & Theatre Historian, and Henry as a Cellist.

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