Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking when Stakes are High caught my eye as I was starting a new project that I knew would require an elevated level of listening, conflict resolution, and verbal skill. It’s a physically small book that packed a large punch and I’m even considering giving it a second read.
While working in Kentucky this winter and spring, I am lucky to be just two hours from Nashville’s Frist Center for the Visual Arts. A few days ago, I was there for Secrets of Buddhist Art: Tibet, Japan, and Korea.
Secrets was a stellar show, almost overwhelming in its significance. We were there for a few hours before heading out to lunch (Sitar, an Indian restaurant I’d highly recommend) and then returned once our eyes and minds had rested a bit.
During the American Civil War (1861-1865), a group of men and women banded together to create an independent community in Mississippi. They were farmers, poor people, slaves, runaways, deserters. They recognized that they were fighting “a rich man’s battle, but a poor man’s fight,” in that they were being used as fodder to maintain the socioeconomic system of the slaveholding south at the time.
Free State of Jones (2016), starring Mathew McConaughey, tells the story of Newton Knight, a southern farmer, Confederate deserter, and inspiring leader of the Knight company.
Mustang (2015), directed by Deniz Gamze Ergüven, is a study in the unbridled power of girlhood. Five sisters, strong, powerful, wild, tender, and bonded closely to one another, are caught at the precipice of womanhood. Their grandmother and uncle attempt to shove them into adulthood (or, rather, lock them up and give the key to adulthood away to their future husbands).
The results are sad, inspiring, tragic, endearing, and unexpected.
Sweet Bean (2015), directed by Naomi Kawase, is one of the most aesthetically pleasing films I’ve seen in the past few years. It’s a slow stroll through cherry blossom season, with each character and storyline finding their own rhythm and pace.
Sentaro (Masatoshi Nagase) opens the movie with a slow, lumbering gait. He practically drags the viewer into work with him. Tokue (Kirin Kirie) hobbles into Sentaro’s pancake shack (more on this later) in a somewhat starstruck manner. She marvels at the trees, the wind, the possibility of working for Sentaro, and the viewer is easily pulled alongside her for the rest of the film. Wakana (Kyara Uchida) is a young teenager who visits the dorayaki shop Sentaro runs and gently brings all of the characters together.
Thunderheart (1992), starring Val Kilmer, Graham Greene (the actor, not the author), and Sam Shepard is an older film which could and should still resonate today. Fred Ward, Sheila Tousey, Ted Thin Elk, and John Trudell also star in the movie, creating an excellent ensemble where allegiances and alliances shift constantly before the viewer’s eyes.
Did you know there’s a way to monitor the web for any and all mentions of your non-profit or small business name? Well, there is and it’s called Google Alerts. And they can monitor much more than the name of your organization: they can be used to monitor everything important to your cause.
In this post, I’ll show you how to set up Google Alerts and then offer suggestions on ways to use them. Keep reading →