(Written from Kanha, India, November 19)
Wow. The day began with a formidable challenge. One of our group began the session by announcing that nothing was accomplished yesterday and it all seems a waste of time. Thank God another spoke up in disagreement, saying that the first day had been highly valuable and it was clear we needed to give the process a chance because it appears we will be successful in reframing the issue as we’ve set out to do. But damage had already been done by the first speaker, who effectively put a damper on others’ enthusiasm for engaging candidly in the work ahead.
We labored through the day, tackling the effort to identify the various constituencies the re-framing of tiger issues has to address. There are many of them, from individuals, to companies, to governments…variety of geographies, levels of expertise and sophistication, and levels of experience with the tiger itself (from the villagers who live next door to tiger forest habitats, to those who have only seen pictures or heard of tigers ),
By mid-afternoon, I concluded that in fact the group has succeeded in finding a suitable new frame for the tiger, although it had not yet been acknowledged by me or any of them. But I purposely didn’t bring this to their attention, feeling it would be wiser for someone in the group to recognize that we were nearly there and have that announcement come from then.
What a mistake. At dinner tonight, we had a near-insurrection, fostered by a small group that is resisting the entire process including my facilitation, really everything about the gathering. It’s a good thing I have done this so many times before or I'd be devastated and my feelings would be hurt. But I will get up early, write up my outline for the day tomorrow, and am confident we will meet our goal. Stay tuned.