4 Invisible Assets Waiting to be Discovered
Imagine how different things would be if well intentioned helpers took care, to first discover:
- The informal ways communities sustain themselves.
- The informal ways that things get done in a community and the stories that reveal the quiet and invisible ways residents make a difference.
- How different cultures get along and have come to understand each other.
- How people naturally and competently produce care, health, safety, sustainable foods, raise their children, care for their environment, and nurture their local economy.
Then having discovered these four indigenous competencies, helpers proceed to work with local people to further precipitate those ‘discoverables’ by supporting that which was previously disconnected, to become productively connected.
Working this way is clearly more sustainable and respectful of hidden indigenous inventiveness. The downside is that it is slower, not controllable/messier, impossible to scale, and complex to measure. For those interested in promoting more citizen led invention, that’s a combined price worth paying. They will therefore happily put the proscriptions in place to ensure institutions don’t overwhelm, demean or displace those capacities; instead deeply listening and appreciating them.
In stark contrast, for those committed to efficiency, measurability and scalability these competencies are an irrelevance at best; an irritant at worst. For most others who occupy the provider camp, such capacities are fanciful myths: wishful thinking.
For the deliverers and providers of this world, the solution is there to be prescribed, why wait for it to be discovered, when they’ve already figured it out? But, for the discoverers and the searchers the possibilities are their to be revealed, connected and made productive over time at the speed of trust. It’s the difference between ego and eco.
The ego versus eco choice is made every day. It is important therefore, for democratic process and cultural wellbeing that we as residents remind local practitioners of the value of valuing us, and that we remind those who think they know better than us, that that is the surest way to never get to know us better.
Those practitioners who understand the importance of placing discoverables ahead of deliverables have also come to understand the importance of refunctioning our communities, and placing the urgency of community refunctioning ahead of institutional reform. But that’s the subject of next week’s blog.