Episode 2.01: Generosity




In the first episode of season two, Tim and Tuesday explore one of the most prescient requirements of equitable change: the generosity necessary to successfully working through difference. How can we draw out and celebrate such a critical ingredient when that ingredient cannot be forced, but earned?

Together, Tim Merry and Tuesday Ryan-Hart are THE OUTSIDE—systems change and equity facilitators who bring the fresh air necessary to organize movements, organizations, and collaborators forward for progress, surfacing new mindsets for greater participation and shared impact.

2.01 —— SHOW NOTES

  • Tim: Generosity is one of the core principals of The Outside. It’s how we turn up in our work, our lives and with each other. The overflowing cup of generosity. We are dealing with really tough issues, yet at the same time, there is an incredible humanity turning up in the room as well as professionalism.

  • Tues: When we talk about difference, traditionally, people often contract. This is the exact opposite of it. It’s a heart expansion piece. I am generous because the opportunity is there and I am willing to step into it. It connects us. It feels like a key piece of working in equity and difference is generosity; although you can’t demand it.

  • Tues: Appreciation & Generosity: Wondering what is the role of appreciating that is one of those conditions that supports generosity. The expression of appreciation is part of generosity.

  • Tues: Wondering about the role of generosity in power and privilege… sometimes I find that those in power are less appreciative and have less generosity. Is this true? Let’s talk about it.

  • Tim: I feel like there is a connection between empathy and generosity [to give, to share]. What I know from my own life and upbringing is that a lot of circumstances of wealth and privilege led towards having a significant empathy deficit / a significant lack of ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and understand that.

  • Tim: Many of the systems we are working with are designed for siloed, fragmented thinking. A huge piece of our work is about overcoming that. This generosity thing we are talking about is like a backdoor to defragmentation.

  • Tues: Often in rooms when people are brought together, the thinking is that when ‘this’ or ‘that’ happens, then we can be generous. There are often pre-conditions for when we can be generous with one another. We don’t have to wait one moment. There does not have to be the perfect conditions to be generous with one another. We can just start. The backdoor is always open.

  • Tim: What I am loving here is how subversive generosity is to the dominant cultures and structures of decision making. How subversive this can be to the psychology and mindset many of our senior leaders are in. Generosity can invite our senior leaders into working in a different way.

  • Tim: This principal of generosity, particularly in the two really large systems change efforts we are involved in right now in the US and Europe, it has permeated, not just the work and our team, but the contracting. It’s permeated the toughest conversations around contacting which is money and intellectual property. It’s quite remarkable. Generosity can extend into some of the most transactional spaces.

  • Poem: “blessing the boats” by Lucille Clifton (1936-2010)

    may the tide
    that is entering even now
    the lip of our understanding
    carry you out
    beyond the face of fear
    may you kiss
    the wind then turn from it
    certain that it will
    love your back may you
    open your eyes to water
    water waving forever
    and may you in your innocence
    sail through this to that


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Find the song we played in today’s show—and every song we’ve played in previous shows—on the playlist. Just search ‘Find the Outside’ on Spotify.


Duration: 34:38
Produced by: Mark Coffin @ Sound Good Studios
Theme music: Gary Blakemore
Episode cover image: source