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  • Jolene Roehlkepartain

Hoping for…More

We came together as a large committee. With huge, overwhelming issues to address. All wondering…

And hoping…

And terrified that we’d get stuck and mired in our differences.

Which happens way too often.

Instead we began the work. Not the work set before the committee but the work of getting to know each other. Of sharing who we are. What we believe in. What our hopes are.

And this was a committee on adding sidewalks and trails to a community. You’d think that would be an easy task, but it wasn’t. It quickly became another deeply polarized issue.

We started by focusing less on the issues and more on each other. We began to build relationships. Some surprised me. I had suspicions that some people “weren’t going to be helpful” or could be “obstructionists.” But that’s what happens (and stalls us out) when we don’t take the time to listen to each other. To truly listen.

Then we got to work on the tasks at hand. We started with naming a vision. Yes, we had disagreements. We got stuck at times, but once we identified an inspiring vision and kept it at the forefront, a vision that was bigger than each of our individual visions, we made progress.

Instead of only hoping for more, let’s work toward the more. Let’s get to know each other. Let’s build an inspiring vision. Let’s work together…to make things better.

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