Did you know we're in the middle of National Poetry Month?
What poems inspire YOU to listen and to learn?
We could use a little "Hope" in our conversations with one another.
If "Hope" truly is "the thing with feathers"
as Emily Dickinson famously wrote,
let's help it take flight!
Share a little poetic inspiration with a friend this month!
Do you know "A Brave and Startling Truth" by Maya Angelou?
She wrote it for the 50th Anniversary of the United Nations.
A Brave and Startling Truth
by, Maya Angelou
We, this people, on a small and lonely planet
Traveling through casual space
Past aloof stars, across the way of indifferent suns
To a destination where all signs tell us
It is possible and imperative that we learn
A brave and startling truth
And when we come to it
To the day of peacemaking
When we release our fingers
From fists of hostility
And allow the pure air to cool our palms...
Click below to hear her reading the poem in its entirety...
Maya Angelou Reads "A Brave and Startling Truth"
at the United Nations 50th Anniversary Celebration in 1995
Another of our beloved American poets,
passed away this year.
Here is one of her thoughtful poems,
inspired by nature...
During National Poetry Month,
let's remember to draw inspiration from our poets!
As we strive to find common ground,
We can keep hope alive...
We can learn a brave and startling truth...
We can take a lesson from the sea...
and keep working!
Check out our latest action project...
THE 50-STATE CHALLENGE!
The Purple Living Room Project
was started by a group of
American expats living in Thailand.
In the wake of the US government shutdown,
we decided to challenge our community
to come together
and write a letter to Congress
asking for a legislative solution
to prevent government shutdowns in the future.
We drafted a letter with the goal of capturing
the "purple points" around the issue...
We shared this letter with our community
and began our first 50-State Challenge!
Our goal was to collect signatures
from voters in as many states
and as many legislative districts as possible.
We printed letters to send
to the Senators and Representatives connected
with each of the expats who signed....
We tracked down signatures
from each of the voters
(in purple ink!)
So, how did we do?
The results are in from our first 50-State Challenge...
Number of States Represented?
Number of Signatures?
Number of Letters Sent to Congress?
It was a great start...
and we can do better!
We plan to tackle
one issue at a time
and see if we can find
that will help
us gather signatures
Let's contact Congress
and let our representatives
know that we want them to
and create legislation
that will help us
move forward as a nation!
Our hearts go out to all of
those affected by the
tragic shooting in
Christchurch, New Zealand
The outpouring of
love and solidarity
shown by New Zealanders
in the wake of this tragedy
has been inspirational.
Equally inspiring is
swift movement to
change gun laws
in response to the shooting.
One week after the tragedy,
Prime Minister Jacinta Ardern
has announced that all
and high-capacity magazines
will be banned in New Zealand.
The legislation required to
enact these new laws
will be drafted
with a goal of being
enacted by April 11th.
If all goes as planned,
the new laws will take effect
one month after the atrocity.
This kind of decisive action
stands in stark contrast
to the response our government
has given the mass-shootings
that continue to shake our nation.
Let's look to New Zealand as a reminder...
Change is possible.
And it can happen
faster than we think possible.
We can do better.
March 15, 2019,
all around the world,
are being held by students.
are being held in
over 100 countries.
Inspired by Greta Thunberg,
a 16-year-old climate activist from Sweden,
students across the globe
have walked out of school today
in an effort to bring awareness
to the urgent climate crisis facing our planet.
Hundreds of thousands of children
have voiced their concern about climate change
in the past 24 hours.
What are WE going to do about it?
This truly is one of the ultimate
What good is finding common ground
if there is no ground left
on which to stand together?
Talk to your friends.
Talk to your family.
Talk to your neighbors.
What are the purple points
around the issue of climate change?
We may not all agree
on the causes
of climate change,
we can agree
that we must
take collective action
to provide better
of our planet for
to work on this
we need to
Finding common ground,
one conversation at a time.
That's our goal at
The Purple Living Room Project .
Polarization is the problem.
There are many ways
to be part of the
We're putting together
a resource page for this website
and we'd like to hear from you...
or other resources
finding common ground?
Let us know in the comments
or email your thoughts to
We'd like to compile these and
share them with our community.
However you approach
the challenge of finding common ground...
Thanks for being part of the solution!
Do you remember the old playground taunt?
Whatever you say
Bounces off ME
and sticks to
It seems like this is the level of our public discourse lately.
Scroll through any comment section
on the internet these days
and you'll find
a vibrant mix of insults
being hurled back and forth...
The problem is,
we're not made out of rubber...
our society is made out of glue.
to us all.
We are all
responsible for how
we treat each other
We need to take
for the problem...
and fix it.
Imagine a world
filled with compliments...
We the People
have the power to change
the quality of our public discourse.
But it requires us all to choose
when faced with contempt.
We can do it,
Let's share the
with our friends,
our internet forums!
We hear every year that the state of our union is strong.
We heard it again this week.
What do you think?
Does our union feel strong?
Does it feel like we are united in our efforts?
Here is how George Washington concluded the first
State of the Union address back in 1790...
"The welfare of our Country is the great object
to which our cares and efforts ought to be directed.
And I shall derive great satisfaction from a co-operation with you,
in the pleasing though arduous task of ensuring to our fellow Citizens the blessings,
which they have a right to expect,
from a free, efficient and equal Government."
Let's try to harness that sense of
We the People
for improving the
State of our Union
Our nation is open for business again.
We're open for three weeks...
Let's not let this happen again.
Congress can pass an
"automatic continuing resolution"
which makes sure government is funded,
even when our leaders can't agree on the budget.
There have been many attempts to do this over the years...
usually, right after a shutdown.
All have failed.
As you can imagine,
lawmakers disagree about how to do this...
or even if it's the best course of action...
But it would be something
that would make sure our nation stays
If you feel strongly about this,
let your representatives know!
We're working on a letter that you can
share with your friends
and send to your representatives.
More on that next week...
In the meantime,
as we find our nation
for business once again,
Keep our minds
Keep our hearts
to each other.
What do you see in this picture?
We all look at the world in our own unique way.
the internet exploded again
over a viral video.
Liberals and Conservatives
viewed the same input
and walked away with
This seems to happen often lately.
Let's challenge ourselves
to step back
and try to see the whole picture.
There are no easy answers
to the challenges
that face our nation...
But we can only begin
to find solutions
when we stop fighting
like cats and dogs
about whether we see
cats or dogs
and start trying to truly see
"Meet in the Middle" is a Purple Living Room campaign encouraging people from across the political spectrum to meet together each week in order to find common ground. Each middle of the week (WEDNESDAY!) we'll post an update on Purple Living Room Project activities. Share YOUR progress on our Facebook group page or in the comments here. Our goal?