Future PresentMay 14, 2010 Leave a comment
“A bright green future begins when each of us, today, decides to live as if that future were already here.”
– Alex Steffen, World Changing
Many of us here at IISC were taken with Peter Block’s book, Community: The Structure of Belonging, and you have no doubt heard it referenced in other posts or ensuing conversations on our blog. At this point our couple of office copies have been through many hands, bookmarked, underlined, and are readily referenced in work with partners and clients. One of the most profound parts of the book for me is where Block makes the point that we often think of the future as this far off thing, and subsequently make our meetings and community gatherings all about planning for that eventuality. What we miss is the opportunity to manifest a piece of that future now.
What if in every gathering we individually and/or collectively made some commitment to bring a piece of the future we desire into the present? What could we do today to live as if that future is now? How might we talk differently? Meet differently? What new conversations might we engage in? Who might we reach out to that we generally do not? What would it mean to be and act as if we have arrived?
I have begun to play with these questions in groups, and invite others to do so as well. What if at your next staff meeting you were to invite people to reflect on how they might live a piece of their/your collective vision today? How might they inhabit their deepest beliefs about how the world should be? How might you do that?
Hot off a training experience with Peter Block this week, as you know, I can testify to the power of his work and vision around bringing the future into being with every use of our language and actions. We ended up doing an exercise in designing a “personal Declaration of Possibility” statement which was amazingly transformative for us all. He ooached us by saying, a declaration of possibility is only brought into the universe once you have spoken it out loud to more than two people. It takes courage and audacity to do that, but with that energy mustered, there is so much more generated forward to live out that declaration. My vision is for every disconnected person, (child, adult, of all ages) to have the opportunity for someone to lead them through that design exercise and for a community of loved ones (maybe strangers at the time) to welcome, witness and hear their declarations. My declaration from that workshop was:
“I am the possibility of each being claiming the space in their lives to emerge, come home and be found in the world.” I would love to hear the declarative statements of possibility from you and your IISC colleagues!
BTW, Peter has a new book, co-authored with John McKnight, due out June 14 called Abundant Community. I can’t wait to dig into that, and I am sure the IISC family feels similarly!
Thank you, Talitha, for sharing your experience. I LOVE the idea of a “personal Declaration of Possibility” and am ready to start on my own. Looking forward to doing that, and to perhaps playing with what it would look like to have a group experiment with merging their possibility statements. Did you talk about that at all? Abundant Community indeed!