I am excited to be starting a monthly column in the local newspaper LighthouseNOW Progress Bulletin. This is the first instalment. I will do a short video blog to accompany the column each month. This month focuses on what we need be able to lead and work in the midst of change - build relationships, let go of control and know yourself. Enjoy the video and see an excerpt of the column below - follow the link to the Lighthouse site for the full article.
I have the exciting and often daunting honour of working with people who are going through major change that feels beyond their control. That is generally when I get a call. This ranges from large corporate institutions and governments to community driven organizations and loose local collaboratives. My work takes me across the Province, throughout North America and every now and then over to Europe and beyond.
One thing is clear to me. Change means things get chaotic. It’s the nature of it. Change means we are encountering and doing things we have not done before ...
READ THE FULL COLUMN ON THE LIGHTHOUSE NOW WEBSITE ...
I am finding it hard to sustain a sense of hope in the face of local and international changes. So many decisions seem to be made from fear and insecurity, so much violence and abuse on every stream of information I receive. The recent attacks in the Cologne train station have somehow pushed me over the edge. They are harrowing in their scale and also because I know the place and station well. Adding theses attacks to the refugee crisis, international incompetence in the face of environmental disaster, the rise of ISIS in the middle east, flooding in the village my Grandparents lived in England; there seems to be so much change happening that I cannot wield any influence over.
My reaction has been to work harder for change in the spheres of influence I do have. However, this just makes me more tired and I know that busyness is a tried and tested strategy for avoidance in my life. As Will Taegel said:
"We mistakenly believe that if we just work harder we will feel better."
The other things I have been doing is reaching out to old friends and re-connecting to my past remembering when I felt more hopeful. This has included sorting out old photos and finally digitizing my whole music collection. Images and music vividly bring back the earlier parts of my life. I have been reminded how incredibly hopeful I was as a young man.
I was asked at a meeting at the HUB last week what gives me hope for Nova Scotia and I found it hard to answer. I could only come back to the simple things like my relationships to people I trust, new families arriving in our region, the growth of the HUB, a new playground in Mahone Bay, Bayview School - there was nothing grandiose or bigger picture in it.
I keep wondering where all the hope, that the photos and music remind me of, has gone. How do I seem to be able to sustain myself without it? When I pause from my busyness with work and a young family, like in this last holiday period, I find I discover something deeper than hope. Something more long lasting - even more trustworthy.
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