Talking about . . . freedom
Freedom is a key concept in America’s founding documents.We are proud to be a free people. This said, there are legitimate differing interpretations of what freedom means."Live and let live" is great until the freedom to use my property as I see fit interferes with your property. Or when someone’s speech harms another person's freedoms. Is it ever good for the government to limit an assembly of citizens? How do we celebrate our freedom and care for it so that it reflects our highest values? This conversation asks key questions and invites you to explore the many facets of freedom.
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Now that you are all together, here we go!
This Living Room Conversation flows through five rounds of questions and a closing. Some rounds ask you to answer each question. Others feature multiple questions that serve as conversation starters — you need only respond to the one or two you find most interesting.
Before you begin your conversation, please go over the Conversation Ground Rules with your participants.
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One. Why are we here?
What interested you or drew you to this topic?
Two. Your core values
- what sense of purpose or duty guides you in life? What is your mission statement?
- what would your best friend say about who you are and what makes you tick?
- what are your hopes and concerns for your community and/or the country, now and long-term?
Three. What are your thoughts on freedom?
Remember that the goal of this Living Room Conversation is for each participant to listen to and learn about the different opinions within the group to see where you might share interests, intentions and goals.
- What does freedom mean to you?
- How do you define being free? Are you free?
- Is freedom at risk? If so, what are you concerned about?
- What grey areas do you see when you think about this topic? How would you resolve them?
- What type of “harm” gives one the right to limit another’s freedom?
- in one sentence, share what was most meaningful or valuable to you in the experience of this Living Room Conversation;
- what new understanding or common ground did you find within this topic?
- has this conversation changed your perception of anyone in this group, including yourself?
Five. Accomplishment and moving forward
- name one important thing that was accomplished here;
- is there a next step you would like to take based upon the conversation you just had?
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