I have been thinking about this quote from Lederach’s “The Poetic Unfolding of the Human Spirit”.
After three decades of work I had noticed that the most interesting peacebuilding emerged spontaneously, and seemed to have little to do with all our peacebuilding work. Was this work worth it?
He then talks about a short meeting he had with a group of Colombians, where thoughts were scribbled out on paper napkins. He finds out 20 years later that these napkins planted the seeds of a significant non-violent peacebuilding campaign.
I can hardly compare my work to peacebuilding, but I can relate to the spontaneity of progress.
For the last year I have been feeling around in the dark.
My current life is best described as a series of conversations, and my deliverables amount to “make something happen”. It feels like a long way from the technical-heavy, deliverable-driven world of corporate engineering I left behind.
I’m making it up as I go, and I have no idea whether what I am doing will end up being useful or not.
Occasionally however, a light clearly shines through.
I’ve been working on a project with my cousin’s charity – the 40k Foundation – over the last few months. The illegal quarry community which he built a school for has no access to electricity. I went to India in October to take a look and see whether solar would be suitable.
This week the ever-brilliant Jamie and 40k team went back and really did make something happen – organising sales, loans and training.
A conversation scribbled out over paper napkins, so to speak, ended in a place I would never have imagined.
We never know the outcomes of our actions.
We never know the seeds we plant.
* For those interested in the tech-y details – how the loans will work, hours of operation, wattages of the lights we picked etc etc and more etc – email me for the low down
** None of this would have happened without the rest of the 40k team – special thanks to the ever-resourceful Rachel, as well as Grif and Clary.