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Generation chasm

Meg Wheatley and Parker Palmer are two of my favourite authors and thinkers. The pose challenging questions which defy oversimplification. Do I walk across the street to avoid others? This is no simple question when answered in the affirmative. It says something about me that is much deeper than yes or no. It asks, “What would lead to me doing this?”, an exploration of my soul and humanness should follow.

Grits and Grains

You can tell a culture is in trouble when its elders walk across the street to avoid meeting its youth.

Quoted by Meg Wheatley in Finding our Way and attributed to Malidoma Some from Burkino Fasso and Parker Palmer. Meg Wheatley’s has written a very appreciative and moving essay Maybe you will be the ones: to my sons and their friends.

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About ivonprefontaine

In keeping with bell hooks and Noam Chomsky, I consider myself a public and dissident intellectual. Part of my work is to move beyond (transcend) institutional dogmas that bind me to defend freedom, raising my voice to be heard on behalf of those who seek equity and justice in all their forms. I completed my PhD in Philosophy of Leadership Studies at Gonzaga University, Spokane, WA. My dissertation and research was how teachers experience becoming teachers and their role as leaders. I focus on leading, communicating, and innovating in organizations. This includes mindfuful servant-leadership, World Cafe events, Appreciative Inquiry, and expressing one's self through creativity. I offer retreats, workshops, and presentations that can be tailored to your organzations specific needs. I published peer reviewed articles about schools as learning organizations, currere as an ethical pursuit, and hope as an essential element of adult eductaion. I published three poems and am currently preparing my poetry to publish as an anthology of poetry. I present on mindful leadership, servant leadership, schools as learning organizations, how teachers experience becoming teachers, assessement, and critical thinking. I facilitate mindfulness, hospitality retreats. and World Cafe Events using Appreciative Inquiry. I am writing and researching about various forms of leadership, how teachers inform and form their identity as a particular teacher, schools as learning organizations, hope and its anticipatory relationship with the future, and hope as an essential element in learning.

20 responses »

  1. Another sign is when adults are afraid of the young people.

  2. so powerful a thought – and so disturbing, while explaining the broken cycle where youth are lost due to a loss of mentoring

  3. I agree. Such a penetrating and challenging thought.

  4. LadyBlueRose's Thoughts Into Words

    yes a powerful thought
    I used too…then when I was working for the Rape Crisis center I would work with middle school and high school students…
    one day we were talking about perception …how people see them…
    a wonderful young man who was very articulate in his words, his manners….said
    he was standing downtown San Antonio waiting to cross a street, a car pulled up to the redlight and as he stepped off the curb he heard the doors lock…he looked up and two older women, one white, one hispanic looked scared of him…he smiled (for he is just that sort of young man, always friendly) but they seem to shrink in front of him…
    he was so humiliated and embarrassed that they thought he would hurt them…
    he was honor roll student, dressed very conservatively polite, soft spoken and wouldn’t hurt a fly….
    listening to him tell his story, I said I would never lock my doors again in front of someone, if I felt I needed to lock them I would do it when I got in…
    I had the same thing happen a few years after that…I was stunned…I am a grandmother, gardener, ordinary person, and people felt threatened as I walked by their car, because I was dressed in my work clothes ( I forgot something at the store so I ran to town in my grubby gardening clothes)
    I was never one to look away or cross the streets, today I am still that way..I meet people eye to eye…I smile….and say hello….majority of the time people will return the smile and say hello back, but they are also shocked aot of the times too…
    this hurry up…instant gratification world has closed people I think…

    that wonderful young man woke me up to see that the simplest thing as locking doors in front of young or olde shows fear….and it hurts the most innocent ….

    I enjoyed your reblog….Thank you for sharing
    Take Care…

    • You are welcome Maryrose and thank you for a beautiful story. My mother tells us of a day when she went to the post office in the city we had just moved to. She was mailing a parcel and when the lady at the post office looked at the box she asked my mom if she had two sons who were tall and dark featured. My mom thought, “What have they done now?” but answered in the affirmative. The lady said, “They are so nice and polite.” That was 45 years ago and our mother still tells the story. It is a reminder that we are all in this together.

  5. jalal michael sabbagh.

    Wise quotation ,profoundly true.But l think our youth are our extension in life . What happened to being older being wiser?. Thank you for liking my post ( our anniversary) regards.jalal

  6. Thanks for sharing Ivon. Raising awareness in everyone really does make a dent in the progress of humanity.

  7. Thank you for the reblog and the thoughts that have arisen from it.

  8. Enjoyed. I am thankful that my car automatically locks the doors for me. And, there are times I am grateful. It is too late for caution – after something bad happens. Wise words from my mother…..

  9. I haven’t done that yet. In fact I’d love to meet younger people. I went to a new critique group today hoping a few would be say, under forty, though under thirty would have been better, but no…they were all my age! Disappointing. I like my age group. They are the best friends, but life and acquaintances should be varied.


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