This post was syndicated by BlogHer on 9.20.12 and featured in the BlogHer Conferences Newsletter on 10.3.12.
I wanted to eat my breakfast.
“Okay, everyone,” said Lisa Stone from the stage. “It’s time for Speed Dating.”
Imagine a hotel convention room filled with thousands of women. Not just ordinary women. Blogger women.
That morning, I was late to the BlogHer conference welcome breakfast hosted by co-founders Elisa Camahort Page and Lisa Stone. I was hungry. I wanted to eat.
“Form two big circles around the outside of the room.”
“I hate ice breakers,” I said to myself as I inhaled scrambled eggs. “I hate speed dating.”
“There’s room over on this side. Let’s go, ladies!”
Then it occurred to me. “You bought the ticket. Now get up and speed date!”
I joined the outside circle that faced the inside circle. For the next 20 minutes, the circles moved around each other. And I met fabulous bloggers.
Our hostesses issued the one-minute warning, and my mind returned to the bacon abandoned on my plate. “Hang on, breakfast. I’m coming!”
I had time to meet one, last blogger.
A gorgeous, vibrant blonde from California introduced herself to me. “Hi, I’m Lisen Stromberg,” she said. “You look so familiar. Where have I seen you?”
“Hi, I’m Aimee Whetstine,” I said and shook hands with her. “I was syndicated on BlogHer this week. You may have seen my face there.”
“What was the article?” said Lisen.
I braced myself. “I wrote the Chick-fil-A post.”
Have you ever witnessed a cat and a dog face off for the first time?
We tried to make small talk about our blogs, but we kept coming back to the issue at hand. I couldn’t understand why civil unions weren’t enough. Lisen couldn’t understand why my church didn’t approve of gay marriage. Back and forth it went. Each of us holding our positions with dignity and without screaming.
There was another blogger waiting to speak to Lisen. As I said goodbye and turned to go, I looked down at Lisen’s business card in my hand.
The moment of truth fell like the sunlight through clouds.
“You know,” I said as I turned back to face her. “We should do something together. We should write about this.”
Lisen’s eyes met mine. Was she thinking the same thing?
“Yes, we should,” she said.
“It would be good for my readers,” I said, “and for yours too, I think.”
“Yes, it would.” she said.
Today Lisen and I set out to create a forum of civil dialogue about the issues that matter. We’re launching a neutral, shared website called Finding (Un)Common Ground.
We’ll regularly post our views on hot topics and invite you to dialogue and share your thoughts. All comments and perspectives are welcomed, provided they are expressed within the bounds of civility.
Today we’re posting about the events this week in Libya and Egypt. I hope you’ll visit, share, and comment.
Civil discourse must be achieved if we are to find understanding and solutions within the issues that divide us and our country.
Please join the dialogue at Finding (Un)Common Ground.
“Come now, let us reason together,” says the Lord:
“Though your sins are like scarlet,
they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red like crimson,
they shall become like wool.” Isaiah 1:18 ESV
Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off by Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong. You say tom-ay-to, I say tom-ah-to…
You are invited to read
Finding (Un)Common Ground.
Follow us on Twitter @uncommonground1
and on Facebook, too!