How we see the world

STAFFORD's picture

How we see the world

“I wouldn't have done that when I wastheir age” “Generation Y isn't able to cope with the currentcrisis” “They can't commit to anything.” “Flighty” “Norespect”

Generational stereotypes... not veryhelpful. But ever present!

In response to the above I decide toconnect with young people; To create a space to learn how differentpeople see the world and help them create positive and sustainablechange in their communities. I connected with a group of GBLT youngpeople in Rockhampton, made my offer and kicked off to a good start.I met with six young people, between the ages of 16 and 20. We talkedabout family, money, relationships and marriage. The organiser of thegroup has some great attributes, but more often than not the groupwould defer to him. I have played this role many times and found iteasy to make space for the other people in the group to talk, without“treading on toes”.

After our first session, I thought Ishould have felt inspired, but I felt dim. The potential seemed to bethere, but I put my expectations aside, trusted my gut. I'm glad Idid. On Friday I sat and waited for half an hour, no one showed forthe second session.

The energetic leader of the group hadforgotten, and some how, so did all the others. Sitting there Istarted to hear “They can't commit to anything.” Then I thought“who could at 17?” I don't blame them as a generation; if I didwho would be responsible? What I left with was “how should I actnow?” I've been given promises of “we'll meet twice next week, sosorry, I was moving house”. Now, I know that the “moving house”is a lie and what about the rest of the voices? The other five?

I decided to discontinue the project.As a facilitator it isn't my role to be boss, to be leader. I help tocreate a space and develop tools, so they can move the way they seefit. If they “forget” to come to the second session of their ownproject, I don't see how they could follow through with action.

I am not bitter that the project didn'treally get going, I am not frustrated by the apathy or indifferenceto the process. If the energy wasn't there, then it wasn't time; thiswasn't my show.

For me, this experience has broughthome my frustration with a larger issue. The value of the dollar,compared to the value of time. I left my shift at the Red Cross earlyto meet these people. The time organising the session, waiting forthem and the hours that could have been better spent at the Red Crosswere wasted. Was there a time when we valued Time over Dollars? Willthere be a time when we value Time over Dollars?

Thoughts left unsaid:

Dollars you can always make, time youcan never get back

The energy of the participants

How I see my world compared to How they see their world

BEVERIDGE's picture

That multifaceted leadership/ sustainability issue in ALAR

"Lorri" Lorraine Beveridge

Dear Stafford (I'm sorry I dont know your first name and I couldn't find it on the page when I looked for it)

Firstly, thanks for sharing this personal experience. I feel like I'm in a somewhat similar (different situation/ similar deep issues)  thing at present and I'm making an effort to sit on the fence and see what eventuates rather than instinctively lead. In my workplace we have been offered some extra professional learning funds (tied govt. grant) to continue on with what we've been doing the last 2 years. I have led/ facilitated the project to date, so was offered the funds to see what we could come up with. I need a team of six interested volunteers for it to get off the ground. I have 4.

 People are not so keen because the workplace is so busy and the Principal is not so keen because she is preoccupied with administrative (money)  issues. It is a young staff. There are resultant power issues that impact on the sustainability of ALAR in the workplace.

The first year of the project we had an ALAR team who used funds to employ casuals on their classes so they could work together in an AL model. After a year, the original team felt it was too disruptive  for the students in their classes. We expanded to include all the teachers but it was a much watered down model as a result. The thinking of the original team was everybody gets a bit, and the learning will grow.

 As the facilitator, it has been a big learning curve- the whole experience in terms of group dynamics, distributed leadership, empowerment. This latest offer has come out of the blue. Many teachers are just surviving. Instead of seeing these extra funds as an opportunity to be innovative, ease the load and learn together about an identified issue, they see it as another job on top of an already overcrowded workplace.

How do we address this paradigm and open peoples' minds to the possibilities of ALAR in terms of addressing grass roots problems in the workplace? We've had a taste.

Why are people not keen to continue? What an interesting issue to ponder whilst sitting on the fence and seeing which way the wind will blow.

Regards all


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