Salon/Bohm Dialogue 11/21/21 — The Power of Us

You may think your identity is stable. But in fact it is constantly changing — often outside your constant awareness, sometimes even against your wishes — to reflect the interests of the groups you belong to.

Jay J. Van Bavel PhD
Dominic J. Packer PhD

In November, we will dialogue about the topic of our identities inspired by the book: The Power of Us: Harnessing Our Shared Identities to Improve Performance, Increase Cooperation, and Promote Social Harmony by Jay J. Van Bavel PhD and Dominic J. Packer PhD. What groups do we belong to and how do those belongings influence, or even control us? Often this is seen as negative, leading to division, polarization, and manipulation. Can these identities, as the book claims, be used for good? Jan H. has provided a “cheat sheet” for the book for those who wish to prepare ahead, but as always no preparation is required or expected:

The Religious Exploration Salon is a group that meets 3rd Sundays at 7 pm to discuss various topics. The current incarnation of our salon was begun in 2011 by interim minister Gary Kowalski and was based on the group reading books on a topic, usually religious. After Gary left we continued but it was difficult to agree on a book and even more difficult to get participants to read enough of a book to be able to participate in meaningful discussion, so attendance at the salon dwindled. In 2014 Paul and Tom visited the UU congregation in Swampscott to experience a different way of having discussions that avoid these problems and provide other benefits. Since then we have followed this practice which is called Bohm Dialogue.

Bohm Dialogue emphasizes respectful listening and balanced, synergistic sharing. For more details about how Dialogue works, please see this intro.

Everyone is welcome. You are welcome to think about the topic beforehand but no preparation is required or expected — come as you are with whatever thoughts/intuitions you have, ready to listen, learn and contribute.  We next meet Sunday, November 21 at 7 pm via Zoom. Past attendees should receive an email with instructions. Or contact Tom Yelton  or Jan Hardenbergh  for instructions on how to join the Zoom meeting.