Let’s Take a Break from Doing Good

Let’s forget our worries and our doubts and walk together unencumbered by the need for a destination. Let’s close the big books of plans and studies and turn down the volume of all that best practice noise. Let’s prefer to have faith in something less predictable and confining. Let’s agree to never again meet in board rooms, or scrawl our logic models on white boards, or wax eloquent about the innovator’s dilemma. Let’s run outside into the blue and green grinning wildly. Let’s throw away our shoes and dig our toes into the dirt and feel what it is truly like to be grounded in Mother Earth.

Let’s walk along the water’s edge and enjoy the rush of the river. Watch the way water prevails no matter what sits in its path. And when we reach a clearing, let’s rest and listen to the murmur of the forest and wonder about the creatures there. Let’s sit in sunbeams on cool stones. Let’s think like wild flowers. Let’s feel life like insects do. Let’s shut our mouths and let quiet matter.

Then let’s walk side by side and climb the hill to discover whatever is there for us. Let’s watch the lights of city streets and how the starlight sparks against the glass of skyscrapers. Let’s emerge from a dirt path to a sidewalk with weeds sprouting from its cracks and just keep on walking. Walking until being alone gives away to manoeuvering through the crowds of shoppers, strollers, and pet owners. Let’s be happy when a dog wraps his leash around our leg and looks up at us with his dark eyes. Let’s watch men with jackhammers and smile at the music they make. Let’s buy roses and hand them out to strangers and wish them a happy day.

Let’s stop and drink Fat Bastard at the Thin Lady Café. Let’s tell jokes to strangers and laugh from our bellies. Let’s spill on ourselves the excess of our happiness and not even think for a moment of erasing the stain with a Tide pen. Let’s talk about gardens and camping. Let’s read each other stories from the newspaper that the other would not choose to read. Let’s write down our peculiarities on napkins and then leave them for others to read after we leave.

Let’s stand in picture windows and make funny faces at the shoppers inside. Let’s gawk like children at everything we do not understand. Let’s walk down alley ways and enjoy the gardens of strangers and let the colours and aromas kiss our skin. Let’s sit on the concrete bus bench and refuse to look tired and resigned to the long wait to come.

Then, let’s find the busiest of plazas, and in the middle of the chaos of people and neon and honking horns, let’s dance. Let’s dance like tiny dogs do. Let’s inhale everything that is good and uplifting and exhale all of our broken pieces and watch them float away toward the moon. Let’s forget that we want to save the world. Let’s forget for a short time all that we have to do. Let’s forget how afraid we are and defy our tendency to think professionalism trumps personal connection.

Let’s embrace on the sidewalk for all to see. Let’s communicate like dolphins and hold on to one another. Let’s hold onto one another like grandmothers do when their grandchildren run to them for love or because they are frightened or for any other reason at all.

And then, let’s get back to work. There is suffering everywhere and while we may not ever end it, God help us if we ever get to the point where we just give up and accept that suffering is acceptable and something we just have to learn to live with. Let’s never do that.

Let’s never do that.

One thought on “Let’s Take a Break from Doing Good

  1. Thanks for this Mark – I agree that there is a time for spontaneity and getting attuned with the real world. I feel that at this point in time in Alberta, there is a need to also become highly attuned with looking at the social democratic yin compared with the old conservative yang. The election of a government that understands the capacity building of CED compared to the barrenness of contracting everything out to multinationals – could mean a renaissance in opportunities for the actual people.

    I hope that there will be a lot of discussion of what the broad vision can be over the next few months. The rest of the country needs Alberta to do well, so that the human services sector can have a chance at meeting its potential instead of having to tolerate the self inflicted culture of cutbacks.

    Like

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