When people agree on where they want to go... good things happen.
In my previous post we learned about the deaths of a group of stubborn, small-minded souls. They were the victims of a school system that said they must come up with the one right answer and that only one person could solve the problem the right way. It is tragic how often this plays out in our society, isn't it?
In this entry we see what happens when people set aside their individual ideas and consider the power of unity.
I recently was asked to shadow a very effective collaborator and see what he was doing to bring the power of partnerships to bear against very real issues, needs, and problems. In his self-taught process, he created interaction and dialogue as a way to bridge gaps and break down barriers. He invited people to share their wants and needs, and to also see what they could offer. In a short while he had enough people involved to be able to match needs to offers.
In an analogy, if he met hungry people who wanted burgers and had chairs to offer, and then he found someone else with apples who needed parkas, no one was happy. Then he found people who wanted recliners and had too many sweaters. Community happened when the hungry ate apples, the cold wore sweaters, and the tired sat in chairs.
They each had a solution that was less than they were looking for, but they had SOMETHING to offset their need. None of these people were able to find each other on their own, or create the dialogue to make trades. However, he was able to see the possibilities and create partnerships. Partnerships are stronger than mere relationships. Partners agree to continue working together toward a common cause or purpose. Partners keep interacting and collaborating long after others drift apart.
In communities of need, everyone has something to offer, but few will seek the power of relationship where mutual benefits can be shared. This man became very creative and encouraged people to loosen up. They had to be more flexible in what they accepted and more willing to offer what they had too much of.
Over time, this man actually pulled people of need into relationship with suppliers of helpful programs, and connected them all to philanthropic organizations who were looking to make a contribution to the neighborhood. The donors gave money to the program providers who supplied the needed help. And everyone was happier.