Weaver’s Guide to Life – The Best of 2021

The Weave project is all about weavers – the people who show up for others and care about their communities. Weavers see the dignity in everyone, spread trust, and work to solve shared needs. They focus on strengths, make commitments, invest in relationships, and work to make their communities stronger.

At Weave: the Social Fabric Project, we’re on a mission to support weavers across the country and to invite everyone to live more like a weaver, by cultivating relationships and community success.

Every month in our newsletter, we feature an article, video or guide that offers ideas on how to live a weaver way of life. Here are our favorite posts from 2021.

1. Some keys to successful virtual gatherings from Priya Parker

In virtual gatherings, if people say something in the first few minutes they are more likely to stay engaged throughout their time together. Conflict resolution facilitator Priya Parker, who wrote The Art of Gathering, shares ways to engage folks immediately and other tips in this 5-minute video on designing meaningful virtual gatherings.

Priya Parker sits facing a laptop and is talking to people in a video call

2. Empathize – not sympathize, says Brené Brown

Empathy and sympathy are very different things, says Brené Brown. “Empathy fuels connection – sympathy drives disconnection.” In this beautifully illustrated clip, Brené walks us through the four qualities of empathy and how to support loved ones going through a tough time. Watch the 3-minute video.

3. Help make your town center come to life through place-making

“You know a great place when you see one—it’s where people naturally want to gather. But it’s shocking how many times our public spaces miss the mark—becoming drab, ugly, boring, uncomfortable, or forgettable spots where no one wants to go,” write Fred Kent and Kathy Madden. Read on for 11 ideas to make your town center come alive.

4. Depolarize yourself and your conversations with folks who hold different beliefs

No matter how you voted in this last election, over 70 million people voted differently. We can have differing opinions, but we must work to solve the problems our country faces together. Our partner Braver Angels and The Reunited States filmmakers produced graphic guides to bridging divides within yourself, in conversations with others, and with your family.

5. Tips from David Brooks on how to deepen your conversations

After all we’ve been through these past few years, wouldn’t it be nice, even if we’re social distanced, to be able to talk about this whole experience with others, in a deep, satisfying way? David Brooks shares 9 lessons he has learned for having deeper conversations.

Have you found other inspiring articles or videos showing ways to weave community? Tell us about them below and we might share them in a future Weavers Guide to Life post.

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