Clarity First Newsletter, October 14, 2016


Living in Trumpland is getting scary. We find ourselves looking for a larger perspective, one that fosters learning and connection.

We’re social. We learn by imitating. Rational? Not so much.

If we were rational beings, it would be much, much easier to organize things for the public good. But we’re not rational, we’re social. We learn from each other, as we each make our own mistakes.
Book review:  I’ll Have What She’s Having. Mapping Social Behavior

Language can build bridges or walls

Words change your brain. Words have the power to influence the expression of genes that regulate physical and emotional stress. Thank you SumOfUs for a style guide that “harnesses language in support of intersectionality and cross-sector power building.”
PDF Book:  A Progressive’s Style Guide

Feel wronged? Try to empathize with the wrongdoer

The workplace, like almost all places where people interact, can be a petri dish of conflict. Research suggests that empathy and forgiveness can help.
Article: Conflict at Work? Empathy Can Smooth Ruffled Feathers

We can’t be creative if we refuse to be confused

Being a learning species means there is no finish line. There is no right way, and we are always building on mistakes. The problem is, we tend to blame each other when we do make mistakes. Margaret Wheatley sees that this holds us from our best potential, each other. Her advice? “The cure for despair is not hope. It’s discovering what we want to do about something we care about.”
Book Review: Turning to one another. Simple conversations to restore hope to the future.


Yeah, the political climate in the U.S. is freaking us out. This week Zara McFarlane has provided an antidote. Her songs are quiet, with the coherence you find when you integrate diverse voices. Coltrane is here, and gospel, Bill Evans, Tony Bennet and Joni, all rooted by a calming stand-up bass. Born in London to Jamaican parents she can even make reggae chill. Her cover of Police and Thieves manages to soothe us off of the ledge.

Images of the week

Syllable X’s Rythm Equals Mumbo Jumbo, 2013and See Alice Jump, 2011, by Henry Taylor. Taylor’s solo exhibition at Blum & Poe in Los Angeles will run through November 5, 2016.

What’s Clarity First?

If you’re new to Clarity First, it’s the weekly newsletter by Clarity, the agency that helps companies, organizations and solo-preneurs use their purpose, values, and stories as powerful tools for transformation. Learn more.

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