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April 30, 2010

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Thanks so much for quoting me! I'm glad that you were present at the session. The only clarification I'd add is around the accessibility piece. It's not that we have always had everything handed to us - it's that the increased accessibility to long-distance phone conversations, the internet, and a dropped price in airline tickets contributed significantly to our feeling that nothing isn't achievable. Information is at our fingertips, and has been throughout the majority of our lives.

All this means that we approach dialogues and problem solving differently. Using sensitive dialogue ("I feel" statements, "I'm hearing you saying" statements ) creates a feeling that we're problem solving together, rather than at odds with each other. If it feels like there are too many complicating factors to self-mediate those dialogues amongst families, bring in a facilitator who can guide the dialogue and keep it productive.

Finally, often times, different generations of families share a similar core set of values, but that feels overshadowed by more surface value interpretations. For example, all generations might value the importance of a good education - but how that translates into grant-making might look different. Try to find and celebrate those core similarities, without being distracted by the surface interpretations!

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