Yesterday and today we addressed two questions that led us into the third phase: Which conversion process can help us to move forward to achieve the shared dream of the Institute? What might be some of the results that we hope for this shared journey over the next seven years? In language groups and then in plenary session we looked carefully at the dynamics for each of the processes of conversion we identified. It was a time for expanding our imagination for what is possible, one of the core purposes for appreciative inquiry.
After everyone had their chance to add their grain of sand to the sandbox, we had an understanding that was more organic and visceral. The words we are using are beginning have a more poetic and narrative texture. This is no small thing when trying to toggle back and forth between dreaming about what could be in general terms and defining what could be in specific terms.
Even if we agree that dreaming of our preferred future is an important exercise, dreaming can be uncomfortable because it requires us to let go of the familiar and practical. We don’t much like floating in the open waters of variety and theory. Yet, it’s a tested way to unlearn some of our assumptions about what could be. When we are unmoored from our cherished certainties, we’re free to look critically at our experience and to look generously at that of others.
Perhaps this is one of the many ways the Spirit moves: igniting a revolution of thought so as to spark an evolution of action.
Brother Timothy Coldwell, FSC, is General Councilor for the Lasallian Region of North America. He is providing reflections throughout the 46th General Chapter, which are being shared on Lasallian.info and on Facebook and Twitter. Learn more about the General Chapter here and from the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools. Search #FSC46GC on social media for more highlights. Visit the General Councilor’s page for more reflections from Brother Tim >
Photos courtesy Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools Communications Service