Letter from the President – Summer 2018

Tucson Great Decisions is winding down the 2018 Winter – Spring Great Decisions discussions. Many of our group participants, including your president, have left the desert for the north. Tucson Great Decisions Association enters the summer with 23 sites offering Great Decisions discussions in the Greater Tucson region.  Moderators and participants in our discussion groups make Great Decisions the enjoyable program that it is. Discussion group moderators and your board are all volunteers.  All of us do this work because of our appreciation of the value of Great Decisions.  We are primarily retired persons, and lifestyle and health issues regularly bring changes to these leadership positions. We hope you will be open to stepping up to a moderator role or joining the Tucson Great Decisions Board in the coming year.  Please know that even those who are winter Tucsonans can take on these roles, as I have.

I am in Tucson from October through May and spend my summers in northern Michigan where I moderate a discussion group there as well.  I have only been participating in Great Decisions since 2008. In those ten years, I have learned a great deal about the decisions that make up the United States Foreign Policy. The non-partisan focus of the discussions gave me the confidence that I could safely share my views with people I did not know personally.  When I became engaged in the discussions, I learned how my personal attitudes and positions on the issues worked, and in many cases, how they differed from my fellow participants.  Dialog, such as that encountered in Great Decisions, has helped me frame a very different approach to foreign policy from when I began.  It also created an incredible bond with my fellow participants.  I hope that those of you who are currently participating in a Great Decisions group have had similar experiences. What I have found valuable is participation, being open to other opinions, and focusing on issues, not partisan politics.

Our Spring Event last month was a great success, with an enlightening presentation on the underpinnings of the media’s influence in the 21st century.  As a board, we are already planning the Fall Event.  It’s scheduled to be held on October 26th.  So, mark your fall calendars.  We’ll have more information on the speaker and topic in September. Topics for next year’s discussions will not be determined until late summer.  We will be communicating them when they are announced, so watch the website News for that information.

Have a productive and pleasant summer. We’ll see you in October.

Dick Kelbaugh

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