Honest neighbor-to-neighbor conversation can strengthen community. At this time, when people wonder what they can do to help, the usefulness of getting together to discuss subjects like terrorism should not be underestimated.
The US needs not only a vigilant citizenry alert to safety precautions, but one that remains informed on global trends that can affect them.
Such conversations are offered by the nonprofit Study Circles Resource Center (www.studycircles.org or 860-928-2616) which has a discussion guide, "Facing the Future: How Should We Respond to the Attack on Our Nation?" It was developed with Brown University and the Department of Justice's Community Relations Service.
In as little time as a two-hour session, people can share their reactions to Sept. 11, talk about how the crisis may be affecting their community, and ask one another how they should live together. Linking citizens, often from different backgrounds who may not otherwise have come together, holds great potential. These conversations can take place at home, schools, offices, community centers. They can be large or small. And just one person can take the first step to start them.