Tag Archives: 2012july

It is so easy to be impatient


I am a gardener.

I spend time with seeds and the dynamics of seeds.  I have learned somethings about seeds.

Not all seeds planted will germinate.

Not all that germinate will survive.

Not all of the eatable food that may be produced will be eaten by humans – ground hogs, deer, rabbits, racoons,etc. may get to it first.

And, on and on . . .

The point is that planting seeds is not an assurance of being able to enjoy a bountiful harvest.

I still plant seeds.

Ours deeds are not guarantees of preferred outcomes.  Just like planted seed do not all become food for people.

I still take care in the quality and focus of my deeds.

As we work toward change, how we work matters.

If we are committed to something then our deeds matter.



Gandhi was no wimp!

gandhi bright side

From my point of view, and I may be wrong, many people seem to think that focusing on “the bright side” is wimpy.  Well, as I continue to learn about Gandhi I truly believe he was no wimp!

We have choices about where we focus our attention.  We can choose to look at ‘what is’ and see what we can appreciate about that reality of ‘what is’.  Then we can choose to focus our thinking around what a desired and preferred future would look like. Then, when that desired future is compelling, we can choose to focus on creating that desired future.

Here’s the Deal When You Are Poor

If you work much, much harder then most of the people around you and, for that matter, most people in general to get ahead – you might improve your financial status.

Not having resources is a barrier that is bigger than many people think.  Resources are needed to raise kids, to find and keep a job, and to get to and from the grocery store, work and family.  Being poor is something that is a serious issue. Resources are needed to keep from becoming isolated.

President Dwight D. Eisenhower said: “Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children.”

President Franklin D. Roosevelt said: “The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.”

Gandhi said: “Poverty is the worst from of violence.”

Barbara Kingslover in Pigs in Heaven wrote: “Last time I talked to her she didn’t sound like herself.  She’s depressed.  It’s awful what happens when people run out money.  They start thinking they’re no good.”

U of M Radio has done a contemporary story on today’s poor.  You can read it and/or listen to it here.

We can do better as a society!  We must do better! 


Appreciative Inquiry: Building Capacity

In our families, at work, in our communities, in the state and/or nation and globally there are issues.  Will have enough food, water, energy, educational opportunities?  Will our family, work place, and the people of our community, state, nation and world be able to be part of positive change?  Can the future be an improvement on the past?  

All of these questions and more can make it so we focus on the negative rather the possibilities of the future.

Often we worry about the things that might happen; we focus on problems, barriers (real and/or imagined) that we identify and we feel burdened by the perceived power of the status quo.  Thus, we might find ourselves stagnant and unwilling to tackle moving toward a brighter future.  Sometimes people might even doubt that things can get better.

The information indented and found below is from page 36 of Appreciative Inquiry: A Positive Approach to Building Cooperative Capacity by Frank J. Barrett and Ronald E. Frye, 2005, Taos Institute Publication

It is fruitful to focus attention of the world we want rather than focusing on eliminating what we don’t want. 

This requires us to ask questions that seek to locate what is preferred.

Appreciative inquiry involves, at its root, the art and practiced of crafting questions that support the system’s capacity to apprehend, anticipate, and heightened positive potential. 

Appreciative inquiry is a quest to discover the positive core of the system – the past, present, and future capacities to cooperate for the common good.

The questions asked about human system will lay the groundwork for the direction of the system’s growth. 

The pragmatic core of appreciative inquiry poses that it is the questions that count the most.

Appreciative Inquiry offers a method that seeks to cultivate innovation and change while becoming to unlock from conventional assumptions regarding diagnosis and problem solving.

Appreciative Inquiry selectively seeks to locate, highlight, and illuminate the life-giving properties of any given organization or human system. 

These kinds of efforts to discover and theorize about the life-giving properties of organizations –what is happening when their operating at their best – is more likely than problem solving two lead to innovation and capacity building.

There is good reason or any of us who want to be part of a more positive future – to actually get involved in and participate in the co-creating of that future. And I do mean co-creating because it will take many minds and hearts and eyes to move forward.  And as a grandfather of a six and four year old and another grand baby on the way, and it’s worth my effort to try to help make the world a better place for the current and future generations.


Images is from A Better World Is Possible – Proactivism

Appreciative inquiry is collaborative in every aspect

Appreciative Inquiry is a strength-based, capacity building approach to transforming human systems toward a shared image of their most positive potential by first discovering the very best and in their shared experience. 

It’s not about implementing a change to get somewhere; it is about changing . . . convening, conversing, and relating with each of the other in order to tap into the natural capacity for cooperation and change that is in an every system. 

At its core, Appreciative Inquiry is an invitation for members of the system to enhance the generative capacity of dialogue and to attend to the ways that our conversations, particularly our metaphors and stories, facilitate action that support the members’ highest values and potential.

An Appreciative Inquiry effort seeks to create metaphors, stories, and generative conversations that break the hammerlock of the status quo and open up new vistas that further activities in support of the highest human values and aspirations. 

Appreciative Inquiry has distinctive characteristics that expand and strengthen the cooperative capacity of those engaged in this approach.

Appreciative Inquiry is strength based.

Appreciative Inquiry is an artful search.

Appreciative Inquiry is collaborative in every aspect.

Appreciative Inquiry is inclusive.

Appreciative Inquiry is generative.

Appreciative inquiry is explicit in its intent to search form a strengths-only perspective for latent, untapped capacity to pursue shared images of a preferred future. 

The shared images of what is possible that night the desire to work together in new ways to co-create that future.  In this way Appreciative Inquiry becomes generative; it discovers, builds, and expands capacity to cooperate over and over again.

Quotes from pages 25-27 of Appreciative Inquiry: A Positive Approach to Building Cooperative Capacity by Frank J. Barrett and Ronald E. Frye, 2005,Taos Institute Publication