The Problem

Imagine a very long and delicate gold chain. The chain is hopelessly snarled. Your task is to disentangle the chain.

How do you set about this task? You want to make progress. Should you rush?

Probably not. Try to be patient. Tugging on the chain only draws the knots tighter. Tightening the knots disfigures the links. Pull too hard and the chain breaks.

This is more difficult than you thought. Should you set the chain aside to work on something else?

Probably not. The chain won’t become disentangled on its own. Delays accomplish nothing but more time stuck in place.

What to do, what to do?

The task is relatively simple. Locate a knot and loosen it. If possible, draw a length of chain free from an encircling loop. If not, find another knot to loosen. Keep going until, eventually, the entire chain slides free.

Society is like a lot of people untangling a long gold chain together. When one person starts to work a tiny piece free, someone else jerks it tight. Trying to work a different piece free.

Time passes. Knots gather and tighten. Links bend and break.

The Solution

Talk it through. Listen and learn. Talk and be heard.

Cross Divides
Take advantage of different ways of thinking, knowledge, experience, interests, and expectations. Benefit from differences instead of fighting them.

Find ways to improve society in cooperation with—and without opposition from—others.

Meet and develop meaningful friendships over time.

The Stir Center

Facilitating Collaboration
Discussions facilitated for lively participation and understanding between attendees.

Minimal rules. Minimal formality. Groups collaborate for the benefit of everyone.

Reasonable standards of conduct expected for the health and safety of the group.

Everyone is quick to see what they already know. Crossing divides requires patience to let others catch up.

No discrimination on the basis of race, sex, sexual orientation, age, disability, religion, or politics. Everyone welcome.

Stir Center NFP is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization registered in the state of Washington. Donations are tax deductible.