Forget Your Perfect Offering

First a reminder that our Power of Disability Concert takes place this Saturday May 9th at 7:00 eastern. Entertainers include the lead clown for Cirque du Soleil, a comedian with White House experience, award winning singers, storytellers, hip hop artists all with soaring voices and universal insights. The LOL (Labour of Love) team who volunteered this together have designed an exquisite, superbly paced and relaxed offering that will delight you, and your family. It’s as close to a perfect offering as you will experience. There are still tickets left. Get them here.
Note all the ticket proceeds will be used to support physical isolated folks stay connected. If you know someone who needs a free ticket contact: hello at plan dot ca on their behalf.

My friends at Common Good Collective are circulating a blog post I wrote three years ago. I’m glad they are because it highlights two approaches to recovery after corona – certainty and confidence.

Certainty wants us to move toward strategy, policy and programs as quickly as possible.

Confidence wants us to wait and make sense of what just happened. It trusts our ability to do so. While the virus curve is flattening the learning curve is spiking. Paying attention to those learnings enlightens future actions.

One learning is the centrality of relationships and human connections. What we missed about them. What they meant to us. And what we can do to make sure they are integrated into everything we do going forward. Including the redesign of our social safety net and the renegotiation of our social contract.

I can’t imagine any of our desires for justice and equity happening without a commitment to the ties that bind us together. Not to create a ‘super organization’ similar to the collective impact approach. But something citizen based. Something that links people in networks, facebook groups, neighbourhood organizations, and grass roots associations. That trusts their imagination, decision making and problem solving. That solidifes what the pandemic is teaching us – the primacy of front-line people and caring citizens to get things done.

I worry policy makers and funders will drive toward programmatic goals too soon. Such certainty without a serious reappraisal of what has changed, and can change if we come together is foolhardy. And leads us right back to relying on a few chosen people trying to make change on our behalf. Regardless of how talented and articulate they are.

The Common Good folks described the post I wrote as a poem. I’m good with that!

Forget Your Perfect Offering

Forget your perfect offering, advised Leonard Cohen.
There will always be another shiny concept or tool so much better than the one you currently use.
And consultants, who describe a perfect world within reach should you decide to hire them.
And fundraisers, who already have money in the bag ready to be released the moment they are retained.
And researchers, who can describe your challenge in learned ways.
And people smarter than you, who will knock you off balance.
But hopefully not for long.
Be careful what you are advised to transplant. It must be able to grow in your community, in your soil.
Trust your natural rhythms.
Pay attention to your people.
Have confidence in your experiences.
Your association with frailty, vulnerability and imperfection will serve you better than an association with those who peddle certainty.
Certainty breeds fear and hesitation. Fear of uncertainty, of not getting it right.
Certainty kills spontaneity.
It is a prison the light can’t get into.
The antidote to certainty is confidence.
Confidence that we are enough. Confidence that we have enough.

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