Inquiring Mind Cafe offers forum for thoughtful discourseWritten by Sarah Ottney | Managing Editor | firstname.lastname@example.org
Citing Socrates as an inspiration, an area man is hoping to gather a “group of modern-day explorers on a journey of thought and mind discovery” to the first of what he hopes will become a monthly discussion group.
The inaugural Inquiring Mind Café will be held at 10 a.m. Jan. 25 at Barry Bagels, 302. W. Dussel Drive, in Maumee. Anyone is welcome, there is no cost and snacks will be available.
“It was Socrates who said ‘The unexamined life is not worth living,’” Yano said. “I have no idea what will happen. I don’t know if there’s going to be one person or 100 show up, but it’s just a matter of bringing people together and talking instead of arguing. Look at Congress. It’s gotten to a point where it’s embarrassing. I think it has to start at the bottom, at the grassroots level. Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives, Catholics, Protestants, Muslims, Jews; there are a lot of labels people are using to separate us and people think they have to label themselves. [But when we do], we’re getting nowhere.”
Yano said the only guidelines will be that participants be thoughtful, polite, tolerant, rational and good listeners.
“Consensus and agreement are not expected, nor necessary,” Yano said. “All topics are open for discussion and will be voted upon by the group.
“I plan to just go in and ask, ‘What do we want to talk about?’ Politics? Religion? Those are two subjects you’re not supposed to talk about in groups, but if you eliminate that, you eliminate 90 percent of what I think we need to talk about. I’m not interested in talking about the weather,” Yano said.
“My truths are not the truths; they are just my truths. If everyone just started talking and everyone started really listening — which we don’t do much these days — maybe we can find some common ground.”
Yano, 66, and his wife, Janette, live in Fayette and operate the Fayette Helping Hands food pantry. He is a retired mechanical engineer and engine propulsion systems expert who now runs his own business, Leading Technologies, offering forensic analysis for insurance companies and attorneys. His wife is a retired kindergarten teacher.
Yano said he chose the name Inquiring Mind Café because of the feeling it evokes.
“There’s a calm, warm feeling when you call it a Café,” he said. “I know people are busy, but hopefully there will be enough people that we can get together once a month or so.”