Blog #5 – looking for, and responding to the opportune moments
I’m 54 years old, heading rapidly to 55. Community building and social change has been my life work. And as I get older, I am more and more grateful for people who are now in a life of eldership, but who mentored me when I was young. One such person is Dave Andrews (see recent podcast interview with Dave).
Early in my community work life, Dave taught me the Cs framework for connecting (see Living Community, Dave Andrews (2007: p78ff). In a nutshell, and evolving over time, it’s basically, that most community connecting doesn’t happen in ‘planned time’. That is, we can’t easily plan for connecting.
Instead, the best times are opportune moments, or unplanned times. It’s best to be in a state of presence and responsivity. Yet the Cs framework sensitizes us to those opportunities.
These Connecting Cs (adapted) include:
- Celebrations: festivals, Christmas, Easter, a big day in different cultures
- Cycles: a stage in the lifecycle such as birthdays, marriage, death
- Crisis: floods, fires, a pandemic, someone is hurt in the hood
- Conflicts: community/neighbourhood conflict over an issue
- Chances: you bump into your neighbour at the shops; you get chatting with someone at a bus-stop
- Change: a time of change, such as someone new moving into the street.
So, why not give this 6Cs framework a go as you consider how to build community not through projects, programs, forums or meetings, but simply being present and responsive to the opportunities all around you?
Please share any stories or examples of this. I'd love to hear from you.