GPS Directions for Community

by Valerie Renwick, from Communities Magazine, Winter, 2016

EXIT the mainstream urban / suburban / rural single-dwelling lifestyle you’ve been living. Depending on your life experience, you may need to VEER LEFT to accomplish this.

directions1IMMEDIATELY ENTER into the heart of your new community home. You will need to NAVIGATE THE COMPLEX TWISTS AND TURNS that seem to pop up with alarming frequency. Who knew that such a simple change in the kitchen would upset so many people? It was just one little thing.  What was wrong with the suggestion to adopt a community puppy–don’t people here want to provide a good home for a stray? Why isn’t the brilliance of my new business proposal obvious to everyone? Well, except for you-know-who’s constant bias against all post-Industrial-Revolution technology.

PAUSE to consider: When the other person said what they said, how did I feel? What is their piece of the truth?  Do I need to give them some space?

Even after traveling the road for years, you may find yourself in the middle of a tricky community conflict, looking like it’s going to end in a horrific pile-up of emotions. You have several options:

YIELD to the more vocal, more articulate, or more tenacious energy.

or

TAKE A SHARP TURN and attempt to address the festering, long-term issues that have slowly calcified over years into unwavering caricatures of process, then QUICKLY DODGE the head-on collisions and emotional shrapnel that comes flying towards you and everyone else.

RECALCULATING.

Now SIGNAL your willingness to work together, and MAKE A DETOUR by adjusting your position and offering a modified proposal that addresses the concerns that have been raised.

Before proceeding, BUY YOURSELF SOME INSURANCE by investing in other peoples’ viewpoints and building up some goodwill in your community-karma bank account.

As you continue on the journey, ENTER A ROUNDABOUT of meetings, discussions, and surveys. In due time, you will…..directions2

ARRIVE AT YOUR DESTINATION.  You find a solution that works for the group!

Now that the situation has resolved and the communal dust has settled, SLOW DOWN AND IDLE for a while, relishing this period of time and enjoying the glow of some skillful, caring cooperation and warm feelings towards your sister/fellow travelers.

Soon enough it will be time to RESET and start again…..

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GPS Directions for Community

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