In mid-October, I was lucky enough to attend a retreat which meant I had a whole weekend to myself, no chores, and a chance to connect with a like-minded group of people. Most of them I hadn’t met prior to the Retreat, but true Perth-style, managed to work out I was connected to most of them in some way or other.
The theme of the Retreat was “Habits of the Heart” and reflects the work of Parker J Palmer, who I hadn’t really heard of before the Retreat;
“Habits of the heart” are deeply ingrained ways of seeing, being and responding to life that involve our minds, our emotions, our self-images, our concepts of meaning and purpose in life. I believe that these five taken together are critical to sustaining a democracy”
Most of us who attended the Retreat are involved in social change in one way or another; through managing not for profits, being in politics, helping managers and organisations work in a functional and healthy way, through living our own lives with some consciousness of what we think and how we want to behave.
There are five habits of the human heart:
1. Understanding we are all in this together
2. An appreciation of the value of “otherness”
3. An ability to hold tension in life-giving ways
4. A sense of personal voice
5. A capacity to create community
I am not 100% certain that I was holding the tension of last night’s discussion with darling husband in life-giving ways. In fact it felt a little more like the red mist may soon have been coming down if I didn’t remove myself from the vicinity to think things through.
It is just possible that my restless, reforming spirit looks at the world with a reformist’s eye, itching to roll up my sleeves and get involved actively in making change. And accordingly, as I create what I see, I see opportunities for improvements everywhere 🙂 It is in fact possible that everything is unfolding just as it should.
But does that mean we stand by and let people go under that might have been saved with a helping hand? Does that mean that we just maintain an “I’m all right Jack, pull the ladder up” attitude? I think no! and I don’t think waiting for the government to do things is a sensible idea. I believe we are all creating our own lives and by extension the lives of our communities.
So, I guess that means I am going to carry on being quite busy. And occasionally a little bit snappy in marital conversations relating to social justice.