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Focusing on the Essential

I took this picture in the summer of 2012. I sometimes keep blurry phots to remind me to try bring and keep things in focus. They remind me life is not always in sharp focus and there are times to step back, pause, and reflect. I think this is essential amidst multiple crises we are experiening: health, economic, and social justice. The health crisis accentuated and made more visible the social and economic fault lines in the world, including in so-called advanced countries. These inequities include the wars, hunger, Amazonian deforestation, accelerating climate change, etc.

It is essential to keep our eye not on the outcome to correct the injustices, inequities, and lack of democracy in the world, but on the processes that will overcome those phenomena. John Lewis in Across that Bridge: A Vision for Change and the Future of America stated

“You are a light. You are the light. Never let anyone—any person or any force—dampen, dim or diminish your light. Study the path of others to make your way easier and more abundant. Lean toward the whispers of your own heart, discover the universal truth, and follow its dictates. […] Release the need to hate, to harbor division, and the enticement of revenge. Release all bitterness. Hold only love, only peace in your heart, knowing that the battle of good to overcome evil is already won. Choose confrontation wisely, but when it is your time don’t be afraid to stand up, speak up, and speak out against injustice. And if you follow your truth down the road to peace and the affirmation of love, if you shine like a beacon for all to see, then the poetry of all the great dreamers and philosophers is yours to manifest in a nation, a world community, and a Beloved Community that is finally at peace with itself.”

The title could read any country in the world and the world itself. In focusing each of our light, we can gradually transform the world, making it better, more just, more equitable, and more democratic; a beloved community.

One’s spirit wearies;

One’s travails weighing heavy–

From within,

A voice calling.

Seeking peace;

Turning inward–

Posing prayerfully,

Listening for wisdom.

Paying homage;

Celebrating–

Carving paths through wilderness,

Cherishing one another.

Appreciating difference in unity;

Opening hearts to one another–

Reaching outstretched hands,

Grateful for common humanity.

I leave you with the video of the reading of the poem Invictus by Tybre Faw. What gives me hope is there are young people like this who are the light.

 

About ivonprefontaine

In keeping with bell hooks and Noam Chomsky, I consider myself a public and dissident intellectual. Part of my work is to move beyond (transcend) institutional dogmas that bind me to defend freedom, raising my voice to be heard on behalf of those who seek equity and justice in all their forms. I completed my PhD in Philosophy of Leadership Studies at Gonzaga University, Spokane, WA. My dissertation and research was how teachers experience becoming teachers and their role as leaders. I focus on leading, communicating, and innovating in organizations. This includes mindfuful servant-leadership, World Cafe events, Appreciative Inquiry, and expressing one's self through creativity. I offer retreats, workshops, and presentations that can be tailored to your organzations specific needs. I published peer reviewed articles about schools as learning organizations, currere as an ethical pursuit, and hope as an essential element of adult eductaion. I published three poems and am currently preparing my poetry to publish as an anthology of poetry. I present on mindful leadership, servant leadership, schools as learning organizations, how teachers experience becoming teachers, assessement, and critical thinking. I facilitate mindfulness, hospitality retreats. and World Cafe Events using Appreciative Inquiry. I am writing and researching about various forms of leadership, how teachers inform and form their identity as a particular teacher, schools as learning organizations, hope and its anticipatory relationship with the future, and hope as an essential element in learning.

18 responses »

  1. THE WORLD DOESN’T UNDERSTAND. IVON. HOW CAN THEY WHEN GOOD HAS BECOME BAD AND BAD GOOD. NOBODY…CAN DO IT ALONE. I WATCHED THE JOHN LEWIS MEMORIAL SERVICE UNTIL I REALIZED HOW MANY LYING, CHEATING HYPOCRITES WERE SPEAKING…COULDN’T GET PAST CLINTON…SO SHUT OFF THE TV AND WROTE POETRY. SAFER!

    Reply
    • I think the challenge is we have set certain false gods up to worship. The Trappist monk Thomas Merton suggested Nietzsche quote about God being dead had to do with how we understood God. I tend towards that thinking. A full reading indicates Nietzsche was suggesting we have replaced God, much like in the parts of the Old Testament, with false gods.

      Reply
  2. Reblogged this on By the Mighty Mumford and commented:
    NICE WORDS/ NICE PRAYER, HOPE IS THERE!

    Reply
  3. Inspiring, thank you!

    Reply
  4. Hey! I love reading your blog and I have nominated you for the Liebster Award, here is the link to the same: https://shrubaboti.wordpress.com/2020/08/02/the-liebster-award/
    Hope you’ll enjoy participating in this and congratulations! Keep writing 🙂

    Reply
  5. This: The health crisis accentuated and made more visible the social and economic fault lines in the world, including in so-called advanced countries.

    Love the Lewis quote. A great reminder. I am just now returned to wp, so forgive the absence. I’m just beginning to catch up, here in the wild mountain world we now inhabit! 😀 Be well, Ivon.

    Reply
  6. theburningheart

    There’s a wonderful fire within each Human Heart that first we need to discover, then nurture it, to see it blaze a light, that will be able to guide our path, and help others to find their own.

    Reply
  7. Inspiring! Thanks for sharing, Ivon.

    Reply

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