If you’re reading this newsletter it’s very likely that you care deeply about many of the issues that matter to us at For Purpose, like climate and the environment, equity and social justice, anti-racism and indigenous rights. Recently we’ve shared our support for Toitū Te Tiriti and joined the call for urgent action in Palestine because we believe it’s important to stand up and speak out.
But with the Christmas holidays just around the corner, we’ve been thinking about how to handle conversations about things that matter without ruining the whānau Xmas lunch or the neighbour’s bbq. In recent years it feels like there are an increasing number of divisive issues to navigate. What to do if the turkey is served with a side of casual racism or the Xmas punch is spiked with a twist of climate change denial?
How can we have constructive and compassionate conversations during the holidays?
Try to find common ground
Try to resist the urge to engage in debate and pull out all your shiniest facts and brightest arguments. See what happens if you approach conversations from a position of empathy and curiosity. Instead of talking in absolutes (it is a fact that…) speak from your personal perspective (I think, I wonder…). Embrace the challenge of finding common ground where your shared values intersect. You may have different ideas about what should happen and how right now. But if you can agree on at least some of the things that really matter, you might also be able to agree on a vision for the future.
Handle with care
If you have friends or whānau who seem to have disappeared down the rabbit hole of misinformation, tread carefully. If you try to debunk myths and false information you risk widening the gap between you and reinforcing beliefs. Try to withhold judgement and gently ask questions to understand how and why they’ve come to their positions. Keep the lines of communication open so that you can build trust and understanding over time.
Know when to hold 'em, when to fold 'em and when to walk away
It’s ok to look after your own wellbeing. You should speak up when you see or hear something that you feel is wrong, but not if doing so will put you or others in an unsafe situation. Sometimes it’s best to shift the conversation to something less explosive (like whether Die Hard or Love Actually is the better Christmas movie, perhaps).
We’ve expressed our solidarity with two urgent issues this month, and gathered some resources for anyone who would like to understand these issues and join in taking action. You can read our call for freedom, justice and equality for Palestine here and our statement of support for Toitū te Tiriti here.
As we move towards 2024, we see that there are a lot of challenges ahead. There is a lot of work to be done, but we know that with collective effort we can make a difference. We would like to support the creation of a supportive network of people here in Aotearoa who are working to make progressive social change.
In order to build a community that will be effective in creating opportunities for learning, connection and support, we have created a brief survey. We would really appreciate hearing your thoughts.
2023 For Purpose Highlights
We were stoked to have our mahi recognised with these awards:
2023 Reed Awards:
Winner Best International Firm, Campaigns & Elections
Best Grassroots Advocacy Social Media Campaign for our #beatthefever project with Alliance Health Plus
2023 Polaris Awards:
Public Sector Campaigns / NGO Equalities (Silver) - Stories of Te Reo, For Purpose, Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori
We were proud to get involved and give back this year by:
Holding a Te Wiki o te reo Māori screening of te reo Lion King as a fundraiser for Te Ataarangi Trust
Supporting Doing Design Differently, a series of events that invited people to engage critically and constructively with questions of power and ethics