Sunday, December 5, 2010

Another learning experience

Though I still have some homework assignments to complete, yesterday was the last class for this quarter, and I'm sad to say it ended on an unpleasant note for some of the people in my table group.

We'd volunteered to facilitate the closing piece of the day's activities, so we had a phone meeting to plan that, and decided to invite our classmates to share the treasures they were bringing away from our journey together.

And then, as part of the day's exercises, we were asked to design another facilitation: we were given an extra long lunch break, and were expected to use that to plan out a meeting which would happen as soon as the break ended.

As we began visualizing how the meeting might go, things started getting very sticky, and it soon came out that one of our group's members felt that the last phone conversation had been controlling and non-inclusive.  The news came as a shock to the rest of us, and our attempts to plan the additional facilitation were severely handicapped as a result.

In the end, both facilitations went reasonably well, but two of the women were unable to resolve their differences in the time we had, and I think both were left with a bitter taste in their mouths.  It was sad, because I care about and respect them both: if they had been able to work together I know we would have been able to create some really terrific work.

Which brings me back to my biggest concern about the schooling I am getting: it's all very well to talk of cooperation and collaboration, but in the real world -- even in the mini-real world the classroom has come to symbolize -- it can be extraordinarily difficult for people to look beyond their preconceived notions and childhood experiences and see how much each person has to offer the whole.

Sigh.

However much we long to reach out and embrace the whole of humanity, there will always be scars, snags and glitches -- our own, as well as others -- that make our efforts less than smooth.  But if you step back from the whole picture; well, even if the whole thing isn't perfect, it carries within it the seeds of perfection, and conveys, even in the worst of times, a clear understanding that the Creator had an idea of perfection.  And if the lumps and bumps we encounter along the way get in the way of that, well... it's all good, and all a learning experience.

1 comment:

M.L. Gallagher said...

You speak so eloquently of what hinders all of us from creating harmony in our lives -- our own biases and perceptions.

Thanks for this Diane -- you shed light where shadows dance.