Category Archives: In Action

Learning doesn’t happen by spectation

Text, I can read.
Image, I can see.

By video, I can follow along.
But to learn, I must take part.

No one can stand in for me
in my interaction,
my operation,
my turn at my own helm.

Learning that lasts
begins where caution ends
and trust begins.

Trust
that whoever made me
an interactive device
created this game
in a way I could win it.

 

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Will this be life-giving for me?

How can we tell if something is alive?

Biologists look for 5 traits, processes or functions as signs of life:

  • metabolism (consume, construct, destruct, excrete)
  • growth (learn, build, improve)
  • reproduction (spawn offspring or ideas)
  • responsiveness (sensitive, attentive, active)
  • movement (action, progress, liveliness)

These are the characteristics of life — the life of anything.

That’s cool, because I can ask, how does my group or organization fare in this test?

  • Does it have a healthy intake, constructing, evaluating and excreting the excess?
  • Is it growing in size, stature, knowledge and/or numbers?
  • Is it spawning new ideas, new energy, spin-offs, satellites?
  • Is it sensitive to the needs of community and responding effectively to those needs?
  • Is it doing things and taking action rather than standing by, waiting or watching?

If my organization is alive, I can dive in. If not, how can I enliven it? If I can’t, perhaps I should look elsewhere.

Even better, I can do the life-test with projects I am considering taking on or investing in.

  • Will it engage me in a healthy way and allow me to sift out and toss the excess?
  • Will it contribute to my growth? help me learn, improve or perform better?
  • Is it creative and something I will want to share and pass along?
  • Does it meet a real need in a way that is effective at reducing the need?
  • Will my active participation offer satisfaction, fulfillment and contentment?

Of every opportunity, I can ask: Is this alive for me?
… If maybe? Give it a try and test again.
… If no? Then it’s someone else’s project.

It’s worth the test. Our biology shows us how. All things we choose to do should answer yes to this question: Is this life-giving for me? IMG_3355

Humaning Together

I don’t deserve what I have
any more than
the desperate refugee
deserves to flee for his life
or the starving child
deserves to go hungry.

Yet, I know them by heart.

As the mother
with hungry children
gives them what little
there is, and her portion, too.

As the one
without a home
seeks companionship,
respite and a way home.

I, with a home,
a kind word, a drink of water,
to offer in shelter
to the one who needs sanctuary.

I, with life’s bread,
to offer in sustenance
to the one who is hungry
and the one who is going without.

This is my nature, too.
Doing human.
together.

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