We are sharing our own thoughts in response to this month’s prompt (Refer back to The Invitation if you have questions about what we’re doing here). Tiffany Smith shares her thoughts on our prompt:

What does it mean to you to be radical?


In order to be truly radical, we have to care. About more than just ourselves. About each other and how we are experiencing the world… about society, the planet, and how we leave it when we’re gone.

“If you’re going to change a system you have to understand it…”

~ Myles Horton

To know where we’ve been…

Radical is contextual. It requires us to understand and unpack what is/has been happening in the context we are in. We cannot aim to truly change anything if we don’t first understand it. I’m reminded of the familiar notion that history is damned to repeat itself. We don’t learn from our history. I’m skeptical though… the knowledge is there… lessons learned have been written about and reflected on. We need to honor and respect that past and put those lessons into action. This requires us to be inquisitive… critically reflective. Assertive.

“You can’t say you respect people and not respect their experiences.”

~ Myles Horton

Where we want to go…

Knowing where we want to go is a multifaceted reflective experience. It requires us to be able to articulate WHAT happened (above), WHY, and how that interacts with our plans for our future. The way we acquire, soak up, and use information is directly related to our own values, and the interaction of our values, relationally, with society. Our individual behaviors and actions shape our common path.


The purpose of education (learning, the acquiring of knowledge) is another both, and: To show us what came before and to teach us to challenge it. Always improving, always interested in making us better. But in order to make the world better, we must acknowledge and learn from our history, and take purposeful action. Why are we headed the direction we are? The why is personal. Relational. Spiritual. Take a look back behind us. We’ve been a long way already. How do we truly embrace what we’ve learned to build a better world?

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