Park Bench Chats…Volunteers needed

In my last email newsletter, I sent out I was letting you all know that I was starting a podcast. Instead, I went back to work.
It was amazing to create so many new adventures in my life while I was off due to Covid, but right in the middle of the podcast development, I went back to work.
I lasted about 3 weeks and then due to some personal reasons I once again started working from home. This new development helped me to decide what I wanted to do with the podcast.
I have not fully figured this all out, but I have decided to start something called “Park Bench Chats” and I am looking for volunteers.
I created a blog post with some information a few weeks ago. You can find it here. Check out all of the other blogs when you are there  🙂
I read recently about a project called the “Human Library project” in which you actually “check out” people and learn about their story, it got me thinking.

I am struggling right now with how divisive our world is and no amount of Facebook posting or Instagram sharing is going to change the divisiveness, in fact, I think it very well might be making it worse. We need to actually take some kind of action and the only action I really know how to do well is to be a connector. It is what I have done for my entire life.

I am creating what I will be calling,  Park Bench Chats which will provide people with differing opinions the ability to talk and listen to each other for 40 minutes to an hour. There will be rules of engagement and I will be the moderator.

Each person will be able to speak, but only one at a time, there will be no interruption. The other person must listen and repeat back what they heard. Only then will it be their turn to speak. Both parties need to agree to listen to the other side. This is not to convince or coerce anyone of a different opinion it is a listening exercise for both people.

To make this work, I am looking for people who are open to connecting and communicating with someone who may have a different belief or opinion on a certain topic. I have included a list of sample topics. If you know someone who feels really strongly about the topic or if you do, please send them my way. There will be a pre-interview process to speak about details and whether they would mind being filmed live or prefer a recorded session.

Sample ideas

  • Racism: Broad topic but I will see who responds
  • Black lives matter versus all lives matter
  • Treatment of Indigenous people in Canada
  • Historic Monuments their significance and whether they should be stripped and torn down
  • Refugees in Canada, are they a detriment to our society
  • Immigrants non-white versus white
  • Small town Canada vs the city tourists that visit
  • LBGTQ for or against again a broad topic I will see how it filters out
  • Collingwood versus change
  • Fat people discrimination
  • Is loving your fat body a detriment to your health
  • Homeless people and how they could be supported
  • Addicted and Addiction
  • Pro-choice versus Pro-life
  • Religion, different beliefs, accepting non-Christian traditions in Canada

This is just a sampling, you may have something going on in your community and you want to have someone from the other side to talk it out with because you really want to understand.

 This is an evolving mission of mine. It may start out as a Facebook or Instagram style and then become a podcast. I am going to see how the first few episodes go and then go from there.
If you are up for something new and want to have your eyes opened and expanded by people you would normally stay away from then this just might be the kind of chat you are interested in having and I’ll be glad to speak with you.
Our first show will be near to the end of September and I will be doing them at least weekly.

“Seek first to understand, then to be understood.” Stephen Covey

In Love Light and Laughter

Patricia Dent

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *