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Find The Outside

79 EpisodesProduced by Tim Merry & Tuesday Ryan-HartWebsite

A lively, off-the-cuff conversation hosted by Tuesday Ryan-Hart and Tim Merry on large-scale systems change and equity. Together, Tim and Tuesday are THE OUTSIDE - systems change and equity facilitators who bring the fresh air necessary to organize movements, organizations, and collaborators forward… read more


1.09: Polarity - How to build bridges for action and capacity through listening

In episode nine, Tim and Tuesday dig into the reflex to act without pausing to consider the schisms at-play — and illuminate how and why we retreat from difficulty (and from each other).

1.09 —— SHOW NOTES

  • Tues: Tend to be a person who really likes “this” and “that” even when they are seemingly opposites and it’s very true around my whole personality. Attribute to being a bi-racial person. If you are a black and white person you live inside that polarity.
  • Tim: The world is becoming more unpredictable and uncertain, the speed of change is incredibly rapid, information saturation, economic/social/environmental uncertainty… in that context, it’s quite easy to duck for cover and want simple answers.
  • Tim: The polarization of our societies and communities is a highly ineffectual way to actually deal with our reality. The only way we’re going to be able to navigate these problems that are so pervasive is by reaching out to one another to figure it out together.
  • Tues: What can experts (neuroscientists, psychologists, sociologists, behaviourists, facilitators, marketers, politicians) bring—what they know about human beings and human behaviours—to bear into something bigger?
  • Tim: When I look at leadership on a national and international level, feel there is a real lack of statespeople. Where is the compelling, unifying voice? Where is the person who can stand up in the face of so much insanity and create some level of rallying cry for people to gather around that has some sanity around it?
  • Tim: Polarization points me to the fact that we are just not listening to one another. If we were listing to one another we’d become less polarized. My desire is to act—how do we do something? What is the intervention we need to make? How do we build bridges?
  • Tues: Bringing us back to our work—that is why listening exercises are so important. Listening to understand the other person / see the other person is a real skill. It takes intention. It shifts everything.

SONG: ‘Come Together’ by Michael Jackson

POEM: 'The Listeners' by Walter de la Mare

‘Is there anybody there?’ said the Traveller,

Knocking on the moonlit door;

And his horse in the silence champed the grasses

Of the forest’s ferny floor:

And a bird flew up out of the turret,

Above the Traveller’s head:

And he smote upon the door again a second time;

‘Is there anybody there?’ he said.

But no one descended to the Traveller;

No head from the leaf-fringed sill

Leaned over and looked into his grey eyes,

Where he stood perplexed and still.

But only a host of phantom listeners

That dwelt in the lone house then

Stood listening in the quiet of the moonlight

To that voice from the world of men:

Stood thronging the faint moonbeams on the dark stair,

That goes down to the empty hall,

Hearkening in an air stirred and shaken

By the lonely Traveller’s call.

And he felt in his heart their strangeness,

Their stillness answering his cry,

While his horse moved, cropping the dark turf,

’Neath the starred and leafy sky;

For he suddenly smote on the door, even

Louder, and lifted his head:—

‘Tell them I came, and no one answered,

That I kept my word,’ he said.

Never the least stir made the listeners,

Though every word he spake

Fell echoing through the shadowiness of the still house

From the one man left awake:

Ay, they heard his foot upon the stirrup,

And the sound of iron on stone,

And how the silence surged softly backward,

When the plunging hoofs were gone.

Source: The Collected Poems of Walter de la Mare (1979)

Subscribe to the podcast now—in Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher or anywhere else you find podcasts. New episodes will be available every second Tuesday. If you’d like to get in touch with us about something you heard on the show, reach us at

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: 29:35

Produced by: Mark Coffin @ Sound Good Studios

Theme music: Gary Blakemore

Episode cover image: source

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