PROMPT 4: THE BELOVED COMMUNITY
NOTE: To make best use of everyone’s time, please come prepared by doing the reading and pre-class assignment before your group session starts.
PART 1: The Beloved Community
What if you acted as if the change you wanted to see in the world was already true and all you had to do was live in it?
Wonderfully, that was the premise of the 1960s civil rights movement in America: the Beloved Community. Read the short transcript of this OnBeing interview with civil rights hero, John Lewis. Now a US congressman, Lewis describes how he and the movement acted as “if the beloved community were already a reality, the true reality, and he simply had to embody it until everyone else could see.” (extra credit: read more about Martin Luther King’s Beloved Community).
Our goal with GameChangers GO was to create our own beloved community of GameChangers who would support, encourage, and hold each other accountable to another to listen to their inner wisdom, fulfill their purpose, and live with integrity.
What if you acted like we’ve already built that? What attitudes and behaviors do we all need to have in this community for us to change the game?
PART 2: Clearness Committees
We envision that core practice of GameChangers GO community will be the Quaker-influenced “clearness committee.” A clearness committee is a powerful way for an individual to find their inner wisdom and at the same time a wonderful practice of building community through love and listening.
You are going to do clearness committees in your Week 4 group session. Read this 5 page description of the clearness committee here. Please read it carefully as it is what you will be doing in your group session this week.
“Attention is the deepest and rarest form of generosity.” – Simone Weil
Quick pointers: Resist the urge to “save” the focus person and let the person find their wholeness within. Asking good non-leading, open-ended questions is a wonderful gift. For examples for good questions, check out the last page of this document. Lastly, don’t be uncomfortable with silence! Silence allows the whole process to deepen. Trust it.
Before class, come prepared with a problem, question, or decision you have about changing the game:
- a concise statement of your problem, even if it is not clear—this process can help clarify what you are struggling;
- a short description of relevant background factors that others need to understand;
- an exploration of any hunches you may have about what’s on the horizon regarding the problem.
You have two tasks in your Week 4 group session.
- Spend 30 minutes talking about how you want GameChangers GO to (a) help and support you for the next 5 weeks and (b) what should the GameChangers GO community look like afterwards. How do we, as in all of us, create the beloved community?
- Conduct clearness committees for three (3) people in your group. Some guidelines:
- Each clearness committee should last 40 minutes. This time span will be sufficient for important insights to occur, and its limits must be observed so that 3 people have a chance to do the work. The focus person has 5 uninterrupted minutes to present their particular issue and situation. That leaves 30 minutes for the clearness-style queries, and possible reflections at the close.
- For each seeker, appoint a facilitator (who will act as timekeeper and process keeper) and a note taker (who will email the notes to the focus person)
- Go over the 5 page summary of the clearness committee together, emphasizing what you think are critical process points. Now you’re ready to start!
- Each session begins with a period of centering silence. When the focus person is ready, s/he begins with a brief summary of the question or concern.
- If there is time at the end, group members may wish to speak of the qualities they sense in the focus person, and the kind of trust they feel in his capacity to make the right choice and take the right action.
- Leave 5 minutes before the next person’s turn as seeker to clear space between seekers.
We are hoping that the GameChangers community becomes a resource and treasure for you as you try to change the game. We are hoping that you collectively become a “beloved community” that supports, encourages and holds each other accountable to what you want to do. Even after these 8 weeks, we intend to keep you together so that each of you can stay connected and call for clearness committees as you continue down the road.
- What would it look like for GameChangers GO to become a “beloved community” after the eight week course is up?
- How would you have to act for that to happen?
- Is there a role for clearness committees in the future of GameChangers1, after the course ends? Do you want to use it as this community moves forward? What other tools should this community have?
Assignment is due midnight on Tuesday.