This is a moment in our history when we really need thoughtful questions and a listening that doesn’t leap to conclusions or that are old and tired. We need people who lean in close and listen, who refuse to demonize and who want to learn from as many different voices as possible. My experience of sitting down and having a conversation here at New Dimensions is being welcomed into a space where the conversation is allowed to be complicated and nuanced and doesn’t reduce complicated issues to stereotypes and caricatures but, instead, explores together these big questions that we need to hold together.
Apricot Irving, a Haitian missionary’s daughter
and author of The Gospel of Trees: A Memoir
As we approach the day of Thanksgiving and are moving toward the end of a most tumultuous year in the history of the world with the continuation of a global pandemic, a most contentious presidential election in the U.S., and global unrest even as we become ever more aware of the inequities that exist for peoples around the world, I pray that we take a moment to reflect on the gift of life that we can continue walking together up the mountain of greater awareness and love for all humanity and all the creatures that share with us this precious life on planet earth.
It is a basic truth that when we are listened to with sensitivity, we tend to listen to ourselves more deeply. This, for me, is what repeatedly occurs on New Dimensions. As host of New Dimensions, I strive to listen deeply to my guest and when I do that I am changed by it. I am expanded and deepened by the process. It’s a spiritual practice for me.
I come to an interview with a great deal of preparation. I sometimes have 30 pages of single-spaced typewritten notes. But once I’m in the interview, all that is put aside and I attempt to follow the thread of what is being said. I do my best to allow the conversation to lead me. It feels like spirit is leading the way to deepening wisdom. It highlights, for me, the question of why we are here and what our contribution may be toward goodness and beauty.
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With best wishes and deep appreciation,
Justine Willis Toms
Co-founder, Volunteer Executive Director, and Host
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