“There is no power for change greater than a community discovering what it cares about.” – Margaret J. Wheatley
Life is simple, its just not easy. Life is filled with complexities, which can easily discourage the casual inquirer from discovering a sense of purpose. It is a definite sense of purpose that gives meaning to our lives since we aren’t living in a vacuum; once we arrive at a sense of purpose, we will inevitably influence others. Whenever an individual sense of purpose drives people to effect a positive change in society, a chain reaction ensues.
A sense of purpose has always been a part of the human experience, individually and corporately. Whenever general conditions necessitate a change within the community, the public consciousness defaults to enacting that change together, giving rise to like-minded leaders who can bring the people together behind a common purpose.
John C. Maxwell observes, “It can be deeply satisfying to be part of something larger than yourself. Most people are looking for a way to be involved in something they’re passionate about that they can do with other like-minded people.”
Reimagining Your City isn’t Easy
“In every community, there is work to be done. In every nation, there are wounds to heal. In every heart, there is the power to do it. – Marianne Williamson
In “25 Moments That Changed America” Taylor Branch writes, “The civil rights breakthrough in the 1960s required galvanizing the whole country, not just through rational arguments but by really breaking down people’s emotional resistance and making citizens across the country see they needed to do something.
The children’s march really was the single event most responsible for inducing faraway people in Montana and Maine to say, “I need to do something about this.” Demonstrations spread like wildfire all across the country. It led to the March on Washington and it really pushed President Kennedy to propose what became the Civil Rights Act basically a month after those demonstrations” (1)
We can agree or disagree with politics, movements, and preferences; we must all agree that some things have to change and make a quality commitment to do something about them together. The changes we envision have to be big enough to make a difference beyond our backyard and meaningful enough to pass on to the next generation. Good leadership is always the answer for making positive changes; good management is still necessary to maintain them.
At some point, someone must be motivated enough to change and take on the responsibility for organizing a concerted effort to make a case for the urgency of societal transformation.
Good Values Must Drive the Vision
“The Golden Rule – As timeless as it is priceless. If you want to be golden, follow the rule.” – JSP
In “Change Your World,” John C. Maxwell writes, “I’m known for stating that everything rises and falls on leadership. But do you know what two things are responsible for making leadership rise?
The first is competence. No one wants to follow an incompetent leader. The second is values. Values are principles that guide your decisions and behaviors. When those values are good, they bring only benefits—never harm—to yourself and others. When leaders have good values, which are reflected in their behaviors, people are willing to trust and to follow them. Good values allow leaders and everyone else to help others.” (2)
“The Culture we develop defines us and will be the driving force behind all we do.” -JSP
Values are vitally important to society. Values are formed within families either consciously or unconsciously; they shape our thoughts that influence our words and behaviors and contribute to positive community values. Reimagining our cities begins with revisiting what communities value most.
When families assume their responsibility as the building blocks of society, instilling in their children quality values, the importance of developing good character, and a vision to make a positive impact in their generation, the community wins.
Managing values successfully requires an intergenerational mindset that envisions the steps we take continuing beyond our lifetime. The old statement “Rome wasn’t built in a day” is a timeless truth. Envision a generation sitting under the trees of a transformed society we’re planting today. It takes patience, hard work, and planning to account for the complexities that positive personal and community development require.
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world” – Nelson Mandela
Education is where the acquisition of knowledge, development of critical thinking, and the awareness that everyone can make a difference begins. It’s empowering for people to use their developing skillsets to improve society’s quality of life then pass the baton to their children.
A Chinese Proverb states, “If You are planning for a year, sow rice; if you are planning for a decade, plant trees; if you are planning for a lifetime, educate people.”
Making an impact on the world is essential. Stressing the value of a good education is a significant component. Managing the transfer of education from one generation to the next is priceless. Education at home and in our schools is the starting point; to think intergenerationally is the only way to secure our cities’ future we’re reimagining.
“Education is simply the soul of a society as it passes from one generation to another” – G.K. Chesterton
(1) 25 Moments That Changed America by Tyler Branch https://bit.ly/3q57p1L
(2) Maxwell, John C.; Hoskins, Rob. Change Your World (pp. 108-109). HarperCollins
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