Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Community Wisdom

By Karin Iona Sundberg

Community Wisdom Lesson 1: Deepen connections with others. In community there is more at stake and more opportunity to come together to resolve challenges. Utilize the potential to learn from one another; emphasize the importance of kind honesty and keeping resentments clear. Experiment with group dynamics.

Community Wisdom Lesson 2: Deepen connection with spirit. Learn from the wisdom of indigenous cultures; use rhythmic celebrations to infuse the community with a sense of the sacred within everyday life. Have fun together.

Community Wisdom Lesson 3: Deepen our connection with place; commit to knowing it well. Watch the seasons unfold; tune in to the beauty of nature. Notice how the place where you are (family, work, neighborhood, community) shapes and grows you—that you are “of” a place—and how this elicits an innate responsibility, a sense of stewardship.

Consensus is a powerful tool, but perhaps not for every decision a community needs to make. Create a management team that listens to members’ considerations and makes decisions on certain issues. Establish a Board of Directors to get support and outside perspectives.

Work to create a clear, succinct, specific vision for the community. The broader the vision is, the harder it is to run a business or create alignment within a group. Having a clearly defined vision can help guide community members in making decisions on directions, opportunities, and incoming people.

Community is our heritage; that creating community wherever we are is life-giving and essential both for our highest good individually and for our culture. Through community we can create openings—in ourselves, into issues, with nature, beyond the mind—and let light shine in.