8 Comments on “Make Shift Coffee House Comments”

  1. Congratulations on a great idea gaining well deserved recognition! Yay for Friends of Maine State Libraries Foundation for providing a conduit for supporting this work. Your inspire us all Craig, thank you!

  2. Hi Craig:

    You put on another excellent event last night in Yarmouth and I enjoyed it a lot.

    It is really good to hear different views and you encourage so nicely the expression of those views in a sincere but non-aggressive way so that we can listen to each other openly.

    I loved your idea of having us leave our own table and seek out someone we had heard speak and engage with that person—perhaps because we agreed or perhaps because we disagreed but even then in a spirit of open friendly inquiry.

    To that point I approached Laura Ligouri and asked her for more about her experience as a waitress in North Carolina and also for feedback on my comments about the label racist and we had a great conversation. She said she agreed with me 40% and disagreed with me 60%. I listened carefully to everything she said. I mentioned that I had just had a great conversation with my daughter, who is a counselor in North Carolina and who recommended to me the book The Righteous Mind by David Haidt. Laura knew of the book and likes it a lot.

    Anyway I think your idea of having some time to go and seek out someone who made a comment is excellent.

    Thank you again, Craig, for putting on these coffeehouses. A great way to hear and interact with people of diverse perspectives.

    Richard Hobby
    President
    Greengage
    Yarmouth

  3. Thanks Sydney! Thanks Joe!
    Love both of your recent comments.
    And I hope it’s okay to tell the world that you are both recent college graduates.
    We love that younger people are finding and appreciating Make Shift Coffee Houses!

  4. I’ve been to between 5-10 Make Shift Coffee House facilitations in the past 2 years. Over time and through long-term conversations with people I’ve met there, some of my burning questions about the political divide have been answered. But more often than answers, and especially when I bring friends, I leave with an important question: “What’s next? How can we multiply the positive impact this facilitation has had on us, by acting on what we’ve learned and sharing it with others?” I’m so proud to see Make Shift Coffee House opening up new outlets for people to take its potential further, like the Make Shift community project in Yarmouth that will begin to measure the long term impact this can have. Personally, attending many events over time has calmed some of my political anxiety (which means a lot coming from someone who works in politics every day), made me a better listener, and given me concrete tools to use in difficult conversations. I’m so excited to see where it goes!

  5. Make Shift Coffee House’s trademark “Listen to Understand” is of paramount importance in our world of strongly diverging political identities. Not often are we asked to take a step back, try as best we can to suspend our biases, and really try to understand those with whom we disagree. Experiencing this at the multiple Make shift Coffee House events I’ve attended has been a transformational political experience. If this was the default mode for our politics, a brighter future would certainly materialize.

  6. I think the May 21 session was positive and proved adults can get together, share some thoughts, and behave civilly. However, I would urge the organizers to more tightly manage the sessions because the first people who speak tend to set the direction of the session with their comments, regardless of the appropriate “weight” of the topic they introduce should be given. Some people know this about the dynamics of group meetings and purposefully assert themselves early in order to direct the conversation on topics important to them. One reason why these sessions can be civil is that there is no testing of ideas or the level of detail or depth. People are free to make broad, superficial policy statements. The devil is always in the details and where conflict emerges. People ought to be asked to explain their position in terms of implementation and impacts. If, for example, they are advocating for something that costs money, they should be asked to explain who pays and why they think their friends and neighbors ought to be spending their money on the cause, which other programs should be discontinued to make room for their more important public policy interests, which type of governmental origination would be responsible (e.g. federal, state, county, municipality) etc.

  7. This is a new website so today starts a new series of comments.
    Old comments are archived above.
    Thank you for commenting on specific events or on any aspect of our work at Make Shift Coffee House!

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