Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Let us stop being distant in our support and understanding of what each other is passionate about

I came upon the following passage about working in an organizaton this morning that seemed worth sharing. It is from an "advice on participation" from some Quaker meeting, the name of which I didn't record. Since Quakers make may decisions in committees and, in principle, one dissident member can block a decision or action of the entire group, thinking about how one participates in an organizaiton and deals with the conflics that inevitably arise is an important matter. The passage follows.

"We need to pay attention to those who have passionate concerns and invest deeply and creatively in their callings. We need to listen to what they are doing, why they are doing it, what they are passionate about - and see if it touches our own sense of call. Let’s pay attention to those who can effectively get things done. We need to lift up the natural organizers who can make things happen, who are natural leaders. We need to give them room to operate and trust in their natural skill. At the same time, let’s be hones with one another - truly honest. Let’s open up and share. Let’s see if there are true points of commonality. Let’s stop being distant in our support and understanding of what each other is passionate about. Let’s admit that there are conflicts and face them. It may be hard, but how can we have community if we don’t struggle with its barriers. And let’s lift our eyes, focus our vision and see if there is a mission calling. Let’s ask ourselves, what is the vision of this organization? Why do we exist? What drew us together in the first place?” What is unique about us? Is that uniqueness worth sharing? Is it worth investing our time and energy into it? Is it worth the risk?"


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