Friday, November 8, 2013

Could someone bring a cold flannel?

The theme of having fallen asleep has been recurrent for me over the past year. It started through hearing Beth Mount and John O'Brien's words captured on video for the course on Citizen Centred Leadership developed by Carol Blessing at Cornell University. Part of the course involves participating in a weekly webinar which took place at 3am Perth time...I was often, quite literally, falling asleep! But when Beth and John talked about Person Centred Planning and wondered how we had come to this state of affairs in which planning seemed to have been colonised by the service system and lost its power and direction and purpose, they both described it as having fallen asleep.

I was deeply challenged by that. I feel sick about the many ways in which I have contributed to the sleepiness and have been wondering what I could do better. A few things have wakened me up a bit and then, this morning, another call to be awake and watchful from Simon Duffy at the Centre for Welfare Reform. 

If you don't know the work of the Centre then you really need to check them out at

Simon posted a quiz on Facebook this morning - here's the link

'We fell asleep. We forgot that they don't take care of us, we take care of each other. We forgot that it's the rich who need the poor, not the poor who need the rich. We forgot that politicians work for us, we don't work for them. We forgot that government doesn't innovate, people do. We forgot that government doesn't create wealth, people do. We forgot that government doesn't know best, people do. We forgot about citizenship, we forgot about families, we forgot about community. We confused good with big. We confused achievement with wealth. We confused love with control. We forgot that the Welfare State was made by us, that it belongs to us and it needs to work for us. it's time to wake up.'

I'm grateful for this powerful statement...a blow of sea-air through my foggy mind...

In his poem 'A Ritual to read to each other', William Stafford says that 

' is important that awake people be awake
or a breaking line may discourage them back to sleep;
the signals we give - yes or no or maybe - 
should be clear, the darkness around us is deep.'

I don't really know how to finish this's not for me to say whether or not you're snoozing gently or are sound asleep...

But I'm off to wipe my face with a cold flannel, sit up straight and pay a bit more attention...

Maybe that will help...