Friday, May 21, 2004

Building Community

Building a Community:
Forming a functioning Neighborhood, Partnership, Team or Extended Family

Building Community is like building a team, one person at a time.
If you want to play a game, you look for people who want to play a game with you.
If you want to play football, you look for people who want to play football.
If you just want to build community, you look for folks who want to create community.

In my life I have created alliances with many people for many purposes.
Healing, Learning, Co-creating, Fellowship, Celebration, Caring about each other, Contributing to a Cause, Building, Planning, Connecting with Spirit, sharing food, Family and fun and more…..all to build community.
Sometimes those many purposes were housed under one roof and one organization.
Sometimes there iwas no organization, but rather a spontaneous coming together.
Sometimes there was a call to join, an invitation and an initiation.
Almost always there was leadership, either overt or behind the scenes.
Always there was a vision, either expressed or implied.
Always there was trust in the process and freedom for folks to choose in or choose out.

This is the essence of building a community of love and respect for me.
To form alliance effectively many ingredients are essential and helpful:
Vision-Seeing what can be when we are all happy and free to choose.
Leadership-Taking responsibility for the Good of all concerned.
Planning-Bringing together the people, place and process needed to support the vision.
Honesty-Sharing fully the desired outcome in simple clear terms. No secrets or withholds.
Equality- Seeing everyone as equally valuable to the whole. Inviting everyone’s participation.
Commitment-Clearing doubts and fears. Giving participants the option to choose again.
Responsibility- Owning responsibility for the quality of the relationships without guilt or blame.

Alliances are built on trust and mutual respect.
When we are trying to convince or sell others, we often undermine the alliance.
When we hold differing thoughts, beliefs or agendas separate from one another, the differences are divisive.
When we share freely our differences and agree to differ, there will be mutual respect and trust.
When we agree on desired outcome or goal, we set aside differences to fulfill what is co-visioned.
When everyone is seeking a win/win solution, everyone will participate.
When seeking solutions where someone loses, all will fear loss and struggle to win.
When we are open and willing to allow inspiration to lead the way, the participants will seek Spirit.
When we seek for the results no matter what the cost, pain and problems often are the price we pay.

Where are you building community?
Where do you pay a price for what you seek?
Where can you build an alliance based on mutual respect, trust and freedom?
For what purpose do you seek joining with another?
Have you committed the outcome to the highest good for all concerned?

Loving you, as we build healing alliances, one at a time.
Betty Lue