Show up. Pay attention. Tell the truth. Don’t be attached to the outcome.
What do our communities need now?
Communities need people to pay attention. Once we show up – really show up! – we can pay attention.
What’s new in the neighborhood? Who is missing from yesterday? What is changing? Who has not been seen before?
Pay attention means “pay attention” to what is. To “pay attention” is to see things for what they are, without judgment. Someone new or unknown may signal something wrong – or not. Someone missing may mean something is wrong – or not. “Pay attention” means only that: to see what is there, to give the community active attention.
Our minds fall easily into the trap of seeing what is “right” or “wrong.” Both are sides of the same coin. If we have done the work to “show up,” then the natural outcome will be that we are able to “pay attention.”
See what’s there! Notice!
One of my neighbors works all the time. I never see him. He’s got important work, I know. But as far as being a neighbor – well, he’s hasn’t shown up for a long time! When an ambulance drives, siren shouting, in the neighborhood, others “show up” to “pay attention” to what is happening. Which home is the ambulance for? Is there something that can be done for the folks in that home? Who will talk to the paramedics to see if someone can be called?
We’ve lost something important in our communities. We don’t see people on the street often enough. We don’t know each others’ names. We don’t look at each other when we pass on the sidewalk. We’re all part of the problem we’ve all created…