Recovering backpacker, Cornwallite at heart, political enthusiast, catalyst, writer, husband, father, community volunteer, unabashedly proud Canadian.
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CSI Takeover Day 2 - What Will You Make with the Wood We've Been Given?
"Give me better wood and I will make you a better cabinet." - John A. MacDonald
A true champion can adapt to anything.
- Floyd Mayweather, Jr.
Look at the picture above - what do you see?
Some may see a pile of pressboard - but as is true with everything there's more to this pile of pressboard than meets the eye.
A quick story, then I'll tell you what I saw.
The other day, while DECAing at CSI Regent Park, a member came up to me with a challenge: she tended to arrive in the morning with a cup of coffee and a bag under her arm, which means she needs to set one down when she enters members' space, meaning it takes her two trips to get through the door.
The gauntlet was dropped. I picked it up immediately.
As it happened, there was an old IKEA shelf that had cracked while being moved - one whole side was split. This shelf was being moved to the garbage room - after all, what value does a broken shelf have?
Of course, this shelf wasn't broken - it was mostly broken. Most of it was still intact and in decent condition.
One bad wall doesn't spoil a whole shelf, I reasoned - especially when a member-identified need could be answered with a couple modifications.
Here's where my new coffee-resting shelf is at now. All I need is a bit of time with a drill to finish preparing these repurposed shelves for their new life.
This pressboard is a great analogy for resources in general; there is never dead wood - there is only material looking for new life.
To me, this function - identifying needs and matching them to opportunities - is a critical piece of community animation. In a way, we are stewards of the space, curators of ideas and champions for members.
On a more meta-level, this is a role people play (or should play) with all the resources in our finite world. Instead of seeing it as a resources to use and discard, think of it as space and opportunities to animate.
So, take a moment. Look around.
What challenges do you see! What is the wood available, even in unexpected places?