What I want to / need to do is not completely unrelated to my grad school work; it’s still involved with person-to-person authenticity and awareness-raising and responsibility-encouragement. It’s just at a group or organization level instead of one-to-one. I want to do what’s known as community building.
There’s really very little that I can find about it online (here’s one piece, which I like because the writer mentions Spiral Dynamics, a theory in which I’m pretty well-versed); basically, it’s a process designed to strengthen the capacity of individuals and organizations to develop conditions that sustain healthy interaction. I hate this description, because it’s a vague attempt to describe an intensely powerful tool. It’s HARD to explain; it’s more something that needs to be experienced.
In any case, it’s helpful for groups who are looking for greater cohesion and awareness, for groups that need to increase productivity, for difficult groups such as though found in prisons, for struggling organizations or companies, or just any collection of individuals looking to learn more about themselves and to feel less lost. I’ve been involved in a few such experiences of community (and they are intense and wonderful and raw) using Peck’s model, but I’d never considered myself becoming a facilitator . . . it seemed such an immense and frightening task. Something deep shifted in the past few weeks, though. I want to take some time this summer either get officially trained or to volunteer to facilitate a group of, say, Stanford students or other local groups in reaching community.
And then I’d offer it in workshop form to businesses and nonprofits and schools and other organizations . . .
I know. This has a total pipe dream feel, and it’s also SCARY work (it’s not easy to be comfortable with the chronic not-knowing involved in those groups) but I feel I have no choice, and frankly I don’t care if I only do it by volunteering. The vividness of true community is an amazing raw and real and vivid and expansive experience and all I want to do is give as many poeple as possible a visceral understanding of what that means.