The Potential of Optimism

In a 2017 Ipsos MORI detailed survey of 26,489 people across 28 countries, South Africans scored high in pessimism and low in their knowledge of actual facts they based their pessimism on.[1] Most South Africans can share personal stories of expressing and experiencing this pessimism.

Max Roser explains “This pessimism about what is possible for the world matters politically. Those who don’t expect that things get better in the first place will be less likely to demand actions that can bring positive developments about. The few optimists on the other hand will want to see the necessary changes for the improvements they are expecting.” [2]

There is a definite need for optimism in South Africa if we want to see some progress in our ongoing battles with inequality, poverty, gender-based violence and crime.

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Killing in Schools

On 13 July, ten people gathered at Johannesburg Bible College in Soweto to dialogue around the topic of “Killing in schools”. Other themes included violence in home and society, rights and freedom vs. responsibility, and government’s failure – mainly in the education system, the unintended societal results of changes and laws, and the unintended results of institutions taking over responsibilities that were relational before.

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Hillcrest Diversity Dialogue

St Wilfrid’s Anglican Church is hosting an NNI Dialogue with Diversity Dialogue. Join us for a face-to-face dialogue – an opportunity to connect, listen, speak and build community with a diverse group. No topic is out of bounds. Please arrive on time so that the process is not disrupted, and if you can, please bring a plate of eats to share. RSVP to vera@tt-tt.co.za or whatsapp 0738676864

Missing Men

In Randburg on 16 March, the topic chosen was “Missing Men”.

It feels like this was a “holy ground” dialogue, and any words are going to do it a disservice …

There is so much pain around missing men. The picture that comes to mind, is of an onion, one layer gets peeled away at a time. We feel the effects of exposing this pain and underneath is yet another layer. The pain of the women and children they left. The pain of the missing men themselves – historical and as a result of their own actions, mixed with guilt and shame. The pain of those who are standing in the gap they left – who are having a positive impact but will never be able to replace the missing men in the hearts of their children. The relational and inter-generational pain that this vortex of pain produces. The questions that each person sits with – Am I enough? Am I seen?

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Randburg Diversity Dialogue

Family Life Restoration Church is hosting an NNI Dialogue with Diversity Dialogue. Join us for a face-to-face dialogue – an opportunity to connect, listen, speak and build community with a diverse group. No topic is out of bounds. Please arrive on time so that the process is not disrupted, and if you can, please bring a plate of eats to share. RSVP to Nhlanhla Zwane at 0789901031

Identity

On 16 February at the dialogue at Martin’s house, we had a diverse group of participants with the majority being men. After listening to and engaging with a talk about the Gospel and Blackness, the topic chosen was an “Appropriate sense of my own identity within my culture”.

During the dialogue it was apparent that our primary identifyer seems to be gender. It emerged that there is a lot of confusion around gender roles, dealing with stereotypes, how to adapt our roles so that it works within a partnership and our economic setting, how to still be accepted within our larger culture and not be othered as we experiment with our roles.

There were so many profound statements made – perhaps you will identify with one of the following …

  • With the changes in technology and male-female roles there have been seismic shifts in our identity. We are trying to figure these things out. 50 years ago the idea of a man staying at home with the kids was not accepted in any culture. Now we have to adapt, but there is a lot of fear of the unknown. Why should I let go of what I know even if it is bad? I don’t think we should be pulling each other down but empower women upwards. We do not want to perpetuate the system of alternating the person that is on top, but we want to create a new system.
  • I am beyond frustrated – they bunched us up here together, the angry black girls, and that is what happens in the world. Just put them there – I feel othered.
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Diversity Dialogue

The second Diversity Dialogue of the year, on 16 February, will be at a private house in President Park from 13.00 to 17.00. We will open with Blaque Nubon speaking on “The Gospel and Blackness”. Be sure to arrive on time so you do not miss this! After the talk, stay for an opportunity to connect, listen, speak and build community with a diverse group as we dialogue together. The exact topic of the dialogue will be decided by the people in the room on the day. Please bring a plate of eats to share. Hope to see you there! RSVP to Vera at vera@tt-tt.co.za to get the exact address.

Diversity Dialogue

The first Diversity Dialogue of the year, on 26 January in the Teacher’s Staffroom at CCM from 12.30 to 17.00, will open with Roydon Frost speaking on “The Gospel and Whiteness”. Be sure to arrive on time so you do not miss this! After the talk, stay for an opportunity to connect, listen, speak and build community with a diverse group as we dialogue together. The exact topic of the dialogue will be decided by the people in the room on the day. Please bring a plate of eats to share. Hope to see you there! RSVP to Vera at vera@tt-tt.co.za

Private Dialogue inspired by Poetry

Life in South Africa confronts us with issues that are not always easy to process. They make us uncomfortable and challenge us. However, is it exactly in these places of dissonance that growth and healing can happen.

Vera Marbach will facilitate a “dialogue inspired by poetry” through a process of reflection and sense-making as we connect with each other across some of the issues that frequently divide us. She will present some poetry from her recently published “Dwelling in Dissonance” as an entry point to a heart-to-heart discussion.

Private Dialogue inspired by Poetry

Life in South Africa confronts us with issues that are not always easy to process. They make us uncomfortable and challenge us. However, is it exactly in these places of dissonance that growth and healing can happen.

Vera Marbach will facilitate a “dialogue inspired by poetry” through a process of reflection and sense-making as we connect with each other across some of the issues that frequently divide us. She will present some poetry from her recently published “Dwelling in Dissonance” as an entry point to a heart-to-heart discussion.

Events Calendar

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