About Us | Our Mission
To pursue initiatives which will reveal common ground for finding truth, clarity, understanding, and progress on issues of importance in a civil manner that does not require compromise of fundamental principles.
Definition of COMMON GROUND
Noun : A basis of mutual interest or agreement
—from the Merriam Webster Online www.merriam-webster.com
We apply the term COMMON GROUND to our organization with this definition in mind. We are seeking to find these areas of mutual interest or agreement. We wish to encourage all to participate in this goal because seeking Common Ground is the most effective way to lead and govern.
Mutual interest means Common Ground provides a constructive means for building on ideas.
It allows people to work together because they recognize an achievable shared goal. By creating Common Ground decision makers develop greater ability to move forward with support from all sides.
Common Ground is not compromise.
It does not entail giving up ones beliefs or values to appease others. Where there is no agreement, there is no common ground. It seeks to achieve a meeting of the minds where both sides see the value and agree with the principles of decisions and actions. Common Ground is not always achievable, but participants always benefit from the effort of trying to work together.
Common Ground is not a replacement for vigorous debate.
The exercise of free thought is an integral part of achieving Common Ground. However, effective debate relies on careful research of facts as opposed to the use of emotionally charged arguments that appeal to fears and prejudices. By carefully considering all facts and respecting all participants in the debate Common Ground becomes more achievable.
Perhaps most importantly Common Ground requires patience.
It demands listening, something that is more easily done when participants are not shouting. It requires making an effort to understand the position of others. It needs integrity to evaluate ones own position in the light of questioning. To compel one to assess that one’s ideas stand up to critique. It calls for humility to support the best idea to achieve desired goals. It needs willingness to open thought to new ideas that hold up under scrutiny. It requires generosity of thought and feeling.