Thursday, October 9, 2014

How To Be

Neither institute, conference, nor innovators lab shall stop me from blogging for you.  But it will influence what I talk about.

So I'm attending the ALA/Harwood Institute Public Innovators Lab in beautifully humid Atlanta this week.  One of the titles of this lab is Libraries Transforming Communities. This lab is into the kinds of things that we're into at Constructive Summer, writ large onto a the idea of driving transformative change within communities. Next week I'll have much more, but since I'm in the midst of it right now I just want to share with you this:

See how this is what we're all about here?  First, ownership: it's yours - your profession, your institution, your community.  So what does it mean like to own your work and your community?  You have to be open to discovery, which means risk, you have to listen to learn, your have to care so deeply, you have to be ready to hold opposing views at once (maybe just for a minute) and finally you have to start to be brutally honest with yourself.

Right, seems clear enough. But this is what I want to underline about it: this way of being isn't a thing that you reach, it is a practice.  You practice a practice even well after you master it because it isn't an end state. The more you practice it the easier it gets, the more you practice it the more infrequently you fail miserably, the more brutally honest you can be with yourself.  Start a practice in being in a safe space and grow it out.  Start today.

Keep Rockin',

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