The difference between a hole and a well
At a workshop recently, someone challenged the idea that you can’t build anything useful from the top down, except for a hole, a ditch (trench) or a grave. ‘What about a well?’ they retorted in good spirits.
We explored it for a while and agreed that a well is fundamentally a hole with potential. However, more importantly, it is dug from the top down so as to remove whatever is burying the water/stifling the wellspring. We also agreed that a well fills from the bottom up (wells up), with the stuff that gives life: water. The absence of dirt makes a hole, the presence of a wellspring properly stewarded makes a well.
A nice metaphor for Asset-Based Community Building, I thought. You can build a hole in the ground but it only becomes a well when it fills from the bottom up. The hole opens the possibility (facilitation), but the usefulness and the asset is what comes from the bottom up!