Let’s Build, Not Fix

May 25, 2015 at 7:08 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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“Whatever good things we build end up building us.” – Jim Rohn

I find myself connecting dots (thoughts, ideas, themes, etc.) as I watch participants work through the initiative challenges and games within our programs. It’s what I love about experiential learning, an openness to outcome through the emergence of authentic creativity and innovation. Last Wednesday’s program was definitely no different, with so many teachable moments popping up throughout the day for the participants, as well as for myself and the other facilitators. The stage was set; the weather was being very kind to us, the park for the Stage 2 Camp Adventure Day was primed and ready, and we had 70 students excited about all that was in front of them.

“…. and then I realised adventure was the best way to learn.” – Anonymous

My activity that the four groups would rotate through was a themed problem solving/ design and make session. Right from the first group I was inspired by the active involvement and the individual and collective commitment to the process by the students. Each participant bought in, seeing that they had a role to play and were going to be building something up as a group. This didn’t mean that challenge, uncertainty, frustration, conflict and flexibility were eliminated from the experience, it just meant that as the students navigated all the questions, ideas and emotions encountered while exploring the possibilities, discovering potential and acting authentically, they were anchored in an empowerment of unfolding ‘do’ability.

“If we desire a society of peace, then we cannot achieve such a society through violence. If we desire a society without discrimination, then we must not discriminate against anyone in the process of building this society. If we desire a society that is democratic, then democracy must become a means as well as an end.” – Bayard Rustin

Too often we can get trapped as individuals and groups into thinking that there is only one way. We will complain about what isn’t right and why someone else should be responsible for fixing it. The ‘fix it’ mentality can see us fixating on what’s wrong, deciding there isn’t other alternatives and missing the wholeness of a given situation. This may include some of the amazing things that are or have already taken place, the opportunities that exist within the situation or most importantly the contribution we are all able to make in building the connections, lives, families, communities and circumstances (just to name a few) that we dream of. Building anything takes work. But are we all willing to do what needs to be done?

“Work is love made visible.” – Kahlil Gibran

I loved what Hugh Mackay said at last Thursday’s Sydney Writer’s Festival session that I was at. When responding to a question from the audience about how to best get across to the individuals the audience member speaks to about the importance of engaging within community, he spoke about the need for less preaching and more doing. He outlined things like organising events at the local community hall, bringing people together through street parties, saying hello to those who walk past us and easy, practical sustainability endeavours, and how through these choices we each have the ability to make then awaken in others experientially the benefits of community and inspire others to act as well in the future. This was an example of real building (anchored in an empowerment of unfolding ‘do’ability), rather than waiting for someone else to ‘fix’ a particular set of challenges that are faced in our interdependent lives.

“When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all your thoughts break their bounds. Your mind transcends limitations, your consciousness expands in every direction and you find yourself in a new, great and wonderful world. Dormant forces, faculties and talents become alive, and you discover yourself to be a greater person by far than you ever dreamed yourself to be.” – Pantanjali

What’s your vision for the connections, lives, families, communities and circumstances (just to name a few) within your spheres of influence? How are you buying in and being apart of building (rather than fixing) through doing the work within an empowerment of unfolding ‘do’ability? Where is it in your life that highlighting what’s not right and waiting for someone else to ‘fix it’ shows up?

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Our Generation

May 18, 2015 at 8:38 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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These past few weeks I have been showing and discussing the video above with some of the Stage 3 students who I have worked with. It has been so inspiring to hear these groups thinking, processing and expressing their thoughts and ideas about this powerful spoken word poem. Many themes and questions were raised by the individuals but there was a commonality within most of their responses. That commonality was in their language, an acceptance of individual and collective responsibility.

“Let us walk softly on the Earth with all living beings great and small.” – Cherokee Proverb

One student shot her hand up excitedly in the middle of our discussion. She wanted to share her connection to another poem that she had done a project on. She spoke with such passion as she explained how a 14 year old boy had written a poem that really inspired her and made her think about the choices that we will individually and collectively make to create the world that not only will we inhabit, but also leaving it for the generations to come. I have included below the poem that she spoke about to the group, written by Derek Nichols.

Here’s the transcript of the poem:

Our generation will be known for nothing.
Never will anybody say,
We were the peak of mankind.
That is wrong, the truth is
Our generation was a failure.
Thinking that
We actually succeeded
Is a waste. And we know
Living only for money and power
Is the way to go.
Being loving, respectful, and kind
Is a dumb thing to do.
Forgetting about that time,
Will not be easy, but we will try.
Changing our world for the better
Is something we never did.
Giving up
Was how we handled our problems.
Working hard
Was a joke.
We knew that
People thought we couldn’t come back
That might be true,
Unless we turn things around

(Read from bottom to top now – listed below)

Unless we turn things around
That might be true,
People thought we couldn’t come back
We knew that
Was a joke.
Working hard
Was how we handled our problems.
Giving up
Is something we never did.
Changing our world for the better
Will not be easy, but we will try.
Forgetting about that time,
Is a dumb thing to do.
Being loving, respectful, and kind
Is the way to go.
Living only for money and power
Is a waste. And we know
We actually succeeded
Thinking that
Our generation was a failure.
That is wrong, the truth is
We were the peak of mankind.
Never will anybody say,
Our generation will be known for nothing.

Both pieces shared here (the video and poem) offer within them contrasting versions of the future that we are creating. How can our generation explore the possibilities, discover potential and act authentically, while deepening connection to self, others and the world around us?

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