The power of community

“There is no power for change greater than a community discovering what it cares about.”

Sunday is often a great day to contemplate, step back, rest, walk, ponder, stop to wonder about things that don’t enter our busy minds on week days.

This past Sunday was no exception! Families, friends, friends of families, neighbors gathered at Eau Claire, at the edge of our river through Calgary, … for solidarity in a time out we used to walk or run a distance of support for young people we have come to know and care about.

Discovering what we care about in life sometimes takes us longer then we imagined. We need to get past all the many interests on our list to create a short list, and then from that short list a moment in time will create a new recognition that our hearts have actually chosen a definite answer in our quest.

For some of us the list is long and rich. How privileged we are to be surrounded with people we know and care about. This new special recognition comes with a surprising reward. It wasn’t solicited or asked for… it came as a dawning of something we had previously only known in passing, far removed from the center of the universe we navigate daily.

“One day can bend your life.”

Sunday was the day you recognized a new way of seeing someone you do not know. And the surprise of discovery is exhilarating! Today began a new path in your brain, a new way of understanding things that were puzzling you, and sorting out the baggage of your past assumptions and conclusions to a new insightful response. I don’t have to know someone to make a difference. I just need to care. Life is well rehearsed in channeling what we put out there without agendas or control. Life is wiser than our narrow perspectives. Life has the advantage of putting our random ‘H and Q’ together in ways that would not even occur to us.

Our actions and responses are seeds we put into the universe of Life. Taking credit for putting them out there is short sighted and not the point.

Look what I found just before we met by the river:

“Don’t underestimate the power of your vision to change the world. Whether that world is your office, your community, an industry or a global movement, you need to have a core belief that what you contribute can fundamentally change the paradigm or way of thinking about things that are not right.”

We don’t need to engineer and contrive. We just need to listen and respond. Purpose, ownership, engagement and common cause will emerge with the integrity we bring to listening to people and to life. Recognition will come from deep within us. We will be surprised at the room that is available for a new insight and attention. It won’t replace anything we need to keep. It will put together an increasingly powerful combination of who we are and what our personhood brings to the world.


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