on February 25, 2002
I am an FOM. (Friend of Meg [Wheatley]) I am also a person who flourishes in a world of dreams, dreams that lead us to realize greater potential in ourselves. With that said, I must admit to the following: Reading Meg's new book felt uncomfortable. Not because I thought I wouldn't like it, nor did I worry about what Meg would think about how I experienced the book. I actually felt apprehensive about the subject matter. What could she say about something as ordinary and matter of fact as talking with one another? Well, I threw out my anxieties and opened myself to whatever might speak to me. Isn't that what a friend would do?
I read Meg's book in one sitting. Actually, it was a train ride from Seattle to Portland. I was grateful for the confinement of the train, leaving me undisturbed to delve into Meg's world, save for a few pre-dusk glances out the window, taking in the natural beauty of our WA state coastline. turning to one another holds nothing new, as Meg would admit. However, when read in light of this past calendar year, her words hold all things new. Meg Wheatley has posited for her readers what I experience as a charge for all storytellers: How do you take what is common knowledge, retell it in light of what makes meaning in your life, and then let it go, out to the universe, praying it will be read with new eyes and heard with open ears.
turning to one another does just that, for me, its reader. And, without speaking in generalities, I feel this book will play its revelatory tune loud and clear to all who look inside its pages. Meg has asked us to put aside our technological armor, turn it off and sit. Sit with the silence, with the uncomfortable feelings of being silent. Sit with the many who are silent, too. Waiting. Perhaps then, in the silence of our hearts, we will rise to a place where we can speak. And if so moved, then we will do what Meg encourages us to do, "turning to one another, in simple conversations to restore hope to the future." Our future.
Meg Wheatley asks nothing more than a willing reader, compassionate eyes, empathic ears and the voice to speak new words. Words of hope, words of vision, of dreams for the future. Telling our stories. Not such a daunting task. Or is it?
on January 17, 2002
It never stops confounding me how the simplest truths are the most powerful. In this work Margaret Wheatley speaks the simplest truth of them all, that incredible changes can occur on a global scale with the spark of a simple conversation.
This is not groundbreakingly new, before the repurcussions of the industrial revolution, people gathered and talked to each other, made plans, even organized and brought about incredible changes. But today, in the midst of the media/technology flurry and the ensuing shortness of time with which to address each other personally, it is a truth too easily forgotten.
The beauty in this book is that the antidote to this social memory lapse is easily obtainable, and the remedy is very simple to put into action. This work is especially timely in that unlike the mass of other works which determine the root causes, events, and happenings that lead to the disaster of 9-11, it never addresses this with any definition (my suspicion was that the book was already in the works at the time of the horror), and yet offers a potential alternative to ensure that things such as this may not happen again.
The format of the work reflects its nature - no overfilled pages with laborous stories and instructions jammed in, rather, carefully selected simple words on a stark minimalist background accompanied by gentle and simple graphics.
on January 24, 2002
Margaret Wheatley's new book demonstrates the importance of more deeply coming to understand and listen to one another if we are to not only survive but to thrive, as our world sits at a key moment in human history. The method is profoundly simple which is what makes it simply profound. If the practice of conversation suggested in this text were to begin to take place, there can only be hope for a better existence for all-and it can start right now, today, with anyone willing to get together and simply converse. This book provides a hopeful tool for anyone concerned about our world and the directions it is heading-it provides practice and promise to make a real difference in our own lives and in the lives of others. I recommend this book with great energy and enthusiasm and am most grateful for the wisdom of this fine author.
on January 16, 2002
Turning to One Another is a gift to us, whether we live in small communities or are involved in global networks. As a management consultant and fan of Wheatley's other books, I have used her theories with CEO's and executives of many organizations. Her explanation of how nature organizes, cooperates, communicates and attracts has provided the leaders in these organizations with fascinating and freeing methods to lead, manage and release their organizations and the people in them to grow and evolve more naturally.
This book is based on the belief that these methods work equally well in less ordered communities and societies than organizations. She encourages us that through simple conversations with people where we live we can believe again in our ability and become creative in solving issues that concern us. And, if we do engage one another with commitment to create what we envision or care about, we will witness something new and positive emerging from our efforts. It's all in the nature of how things actually work. I am very thankful for her efforts and plan to encourage conversations in my community work.
on September 19, 2014
Wheatley presents a set of compelling short essays and prose-poems for reflection on the meaning of life in post-modern culture. You can read each piece in a few minutes and contemplate for a week, or read right through in an evening. Either way, it will change you for the better, or at least turn you toward others for good purposes to share along the journey.