In sum, we are drawing on ideas that bring people together in conversation rather than force them into authoritative processes. Conversations meander, and decisions spring forth. We reduce individual control and ownership. We share power and authority, as well as respecting silence and absence. Ideas emerge organically without clear intellectual ownership. It is a collage: thousands of pieces of ideas come together. Bad ideas are polished up with a little collective imagination.
I believe that conversation is not a master’s tool. I believe that being in a circle, in a community, is not a master’s tool. If you look back, along almost every indigenous pathway that we can follow, conversation and circles have been used over and over by many, many people. The master’s tool comes into being when we start putting one person above the circle, or taking one person out of the conversation. I’ve had many great teachers: Audre Lorde, Grace Lee Boggs, Charity Hicks. If I look at the organizers that I deeply respect, and I look at the people who throughout history have given me guidance, the thing they have continued to return to is that people can and should be in conversation. How do we sit down with each other face to face, heart to heart, and actually feel our way through, to a place that we haven’t yet actually been to yet?
It is of the nature of idea to be communicated: written, spoken, done. The idea is like grass. It craves light, likes crowds, thrives on crossbreeding, grows better for being stepped on.