As we move through community development work, we are often asked to measure what we do. While we look for the big movements, it is the small moments we witness that keep us moving.
I was impressed at a recent meeting to watch the dynamics of two people who live in the community and probably pass each other on a regular basis, yet rarely, if ever speak. They’ve been coming together for regular conversation and planning for the last six months. Initially, they were both dubious of one another, sitting on opposite sides of the room, not necessarily engaging with one another. Recently, there was a two hour planning meeting where people openly shared their thoughts about where things should go. At the end of the meeting, I saw both people talking. A fellow team member asked the two where they were going after the meeting. One of the people noted that they were giving other person a ride. They then walked out of the door together.
To most this would be an insignificant thing to notice. To me, it’s like watching the seed growing. The flower or fruit is not fully formed, but something is starting to emerge there and bursting through the soil, creating who knows what? I don’t know, but I have a feeling that what is emerging is just as beautiful as a flower or as sweet as an apple that is given the chance to ripen on the tree.
Relationships take time. They take effort. Often they start from something as simple as offering someone a ride. Creating the space where opportunities for this simple offer to happen takes effort. That’s part of the work we do at CDF. We realize that the foundation of most things starts with relationships and those relationships can start with a simple hello on the street or a chance meeting at the local coffee shop or an offer of a ride home.
Consider your fondest connections. Do you remember how they started?
» Celebrate Clarkston » Small moments symbolize large changes