Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Unemployment Chronicles: Vol. 4 — The movement is brewing

Sometimes, when opportunity knocks, there is some other preoccupation that keeps us from wanting to answer the door. Be it a trip to Tahoe to reconnect with a group of lads from up north with whom I have had good times past. Or it could have been the pending call for employment that could have stopped me, but I decided to answer the door.

I later learned I missed out on quite the trip from what I gather. Somehow the lads encountered a brush with fame, an establishment t-shirt signed and a possible appearance on an upcoming HBO reality show.

However, presented with the chance to attend the first day of a two day leadership training hosted by a central coast non profit organization — an alliance whose aim is to unite for a sustainable economy — I entered with a cautious optimism. I figured I had done this sort of thing before. My leadership training and experience launched as a preteen as I became a counselor with a beloved 4-H camp back in my native Maryland. That continued each year, through college, until I made it to director of the residential camp and was then responsible for training the next wave of camp leaders. That early experience helped form my character as I, and countless other youth tapped into something special, selflessness. Great bonds were made. This is how I cut my leadership teeth. Intense training in the sharp leadership and servant standards of my dear fraternity, Alpha Phi Alpha; and the residents life circuit soon followed. Various campus involvement took me from cocoon to caterpillar.

So would this be lip service, pontification, feel good stuff?

After the first part of the CAUSE training, I was more than glad I attended. I began to meet a band of hand selected change agents within the latest community to have embraced my nomadic spirit. I was charging to get involved, as that has always been a source of personal enjoyment. I had also learned a thing or two about taxes in this great state of California. It was enough to make me want to come back for the second and much longer day. Scheduling and the blessings of the Queen Bea allowed. Next thing I know I'm part of the movement.

A stir of energy and before long, as was the case back in camp, and many times before and after, I found myself responding to the name Spider-Man. These change agents somehow quickly extracted my alter ego and I found myself sharing the principal value; "with great power also comes great responsibility."

I engaged in discovering my self interest, and challenged to have conversations to help others find theirs. That should continue. It's about more than merely passing time on this earth I was reminded.

The play was called, backfield in motion. Sugar mama is slacking. We've talked, but she is not yet taking care.

I found myself espousing the merits of participatory democracy. No longer part of the masses that cast my vote, wiped my hands and thought, "great, now get to work fixing this mess." A marriage of voice and vote. A spark of co-powerment to embark on the collective Herculean task. I began to ask questions again, although I no longer get paid to do it. There is power in those questions and there is power in the corresponding stories. Conocimiento!

The vision: to think Seven generations ahead in decision making as was, and still is, custom in Iroquois culture. How how!! It's strange how it is all connected. Noon-way. Seven is a powerful number. The goals, the objective and the plan laid out. Charged.

The play starts. Pass is made. Catch and touchdown. Sugar mama, I'm done with you, well at least for now.

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