Category Archives: Social Change

In search of intentionality

In search of intentionality

┬áMost of us are very busy – it’s a modern mark of value. There are so many things needing to be done, to be purchased, and to be watched on our screens. We are trained by the ever-increasing rates of media and concerns to move quickly. It gives us very little time for true understanding, or the development of potential and satisfication – in ourselves or in those around us. Through busyness we reduce our focus to just the immediate activity at hand, with the longer range and personal elements becoming secondary if considered at all.

One of the central concepts of a team – be it a group of employees, a family, or a sports team – is that combined strengths lead to shared success. Those strengths include both the hands-on skills of the team members, as well as the emotional ambience and influences that motivate and guide the group.

But when people are busy they tend to become reactive rather than proactive, and functional rather than intentional – the subtleties and considerations get lost – and each moment becomes one of immediate result or exhausted rest. In such a state people are finding it harder to be encouraging or appreciative of others. The emotional ambience becomes an assumption of commited determination rather than a thoughtfulness of how any team member might be lifted up, honoured or encouraged. “We’ve got things to do and you should be doing them right now!” becomes the mindset.

This is not to say that people have become unfeeling or dispassionate – those attributes are hard-wired into us. But telling your busy co-worker or friend “It’s okay – we’ll get through this” is very different from being purposeful in thinking about the people in our lives – from being encouraging – from being considerate and forward-thinking. Telling someone “Hey, I forgot to mention you did a good job last time but you did and here’s another task” is insufficient encouragement, and far short of intentionally seeking ways to recognize people’s contributions.

In a busy world people burn out that could have been lifted up, good ideas go unused or undeveloped, and existing and potential new leaders get discouraged. Without timely communication, personal encouragement, and reflection organizations and lives get stuck in the same pattern and conditions – they lose a better future while they grind through the present.

Every person is different, yet every person has the same needs: to be part of good things, to grow in their skills and potential, and to be recognized and encouraged. You have a vital role in the lives of those around you – not just through the hands-on skills you use on a task – but by being purposeful and intentional in your communication and encouragement. When we intentionally consider people’s needs we develop ways to help them, and also ourselves. When people are encouraged, honoured and built-up good things happen. Yes, it takes time, and yes it takes change, but it’s worth it because helping and encouraging others is a bigger source of joy, satisfaction and positive change than any bottom line can ever show.

You have more influence than you think, and more opportunities than you have been using, to help others and make life better.

Break the cycle of busyness, and bring intentionality back to life.

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Shining for each other

Shining for each other

All sorts of things can separate us from each other. Here’s to finding ways to bridge divides and build relationships. Together we shine brighter and better.

I shine for you
The stars
so far
away
are
nearer
than you
seem
to me.
I wish
a wish
could bring
you close
but that
is not
to be.
So I
will hold
onto
the hope
and wait
for you
to see
I’m shining
still
to show
I know
that we
will someday
be.
Rob Hueniken
2013-Mar-06
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Very Important People – Redefining the VIP

The classic definition of a VIP is a Very Important Person. It is someone whose stature is above the regular person. They are respected, they are recognized as special, and they are given accolades and preferential treatment. We tend to think of VIPs as movie stars, famous musicians and rich people. We're shown these famous… Continue Reading

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A new way of helping

There is a movement afoot that is taking a look at how charity and aid might be done better at both the local and global levels. It is based on the 2009 book, "When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty Without Hurting the Poor…and Yourself", by Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert.     The authors… Continue Reading

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Occupy a Better Future

We are all part of our society – benefitting and struggling within the system we share. We might think of ourselves as isolated from the rest of the world, but our lives are entwined – connected to the world through our supply chain of food and materials, and to people around the world through our… Continue Reading

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Don’t Forget About the Price Tag

In her cheerful yet poignant song, Price Tag, Jessie J helps shine some light on our society's obsession with money. In an age of endless encouragement to buy things, it is refreshing to hear a musical artist reminding us there are simpler, priceless aspects of life. Teaming up with American rapper B.o.B. and producer Dr… Continue Reading

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Redemption Song

A global music effort is underway by a diverse group of musicians and singers known as Playing For Change. Their videos, available on YouTube, are a wonderful collection of memorable songs played in very personal contributions from locations around the world. The musicianship is outstanding, and the overall feeling is of shared truths and personal… Continue Reading

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Honoring Others with Alternative Gifts

There is a growing and excellent trend moving through our society: honoring our friends and family with special gifts for their birthday and on holidays. While there are still times when people need a new iPod, TV, or other gizmo, a lot of people already have a lot of things, and enjoy going out themselves… Continue Reading

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Our Society’s Toughest Commandment (#10)

One of the main characteristics of our North American society is its focus on money and entertainment. Everywhere we look there are opportunities and offers of services, goods to buy, and recreation. Advertising blitzes us continuously, mostly portraying smiling, beautiful people sharing a good time and taking possession of something they really want. And if… Continue Reading

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