Family Centre Newsletter - Summer 2021
As an explorer, I recognize that we are all seeking the secret of transforming the world. In essence, we are mystics at heart who are seeking to create a world that is full of love and compassionate justice. I want to approach my personal and professional lives with wonder.
When we are driven by a sense of wonder and exploration, we discover the seeds and saplings for personal and social transformations through various encounters with life. These encounters break our routine and shatter our habitual patterns of being in the world. These encounters may involve other individuals, trees, plants, animals or dreams. These encounters are not necessarily pre-determined or pre-destined. They emerge as part of our constant quest for transformation and allow us to step back from our usual way of being. We go through moments of shattering and stability at different levels as individuals. We need to examine how this process unfolds at systemic level.
From this larger understating of the world and ourselves as explorers, we create frameworks and tools to structure and guide our daily life. We need these concrete tools to bring a certain degree of consistency and certainty in our otherwise uncertain life. However, it is important that we understand these frameworks, their origins, and how certain frameworks dominate the others (e.g., Eurocentric Neo-liberal Capitalist Patriarchal framework).
When certain frameworks dominate our personal, economic, social, political and spiritual spheres, we may experience stifling of our growth and creativity. We may begin to operate as if we have found the “right” answers or the “right way” of accomplishing the “right calling”. This can become oppressive and unjust for us, in particular when we are forced to “fit” into the dominant frameworks and structures. Our spirits are bound to rebel and to seek alternatives under these circumstances. We can no longer hide behind “right calling” imposed by dominant frameworks and resultant structures.
We begin our quest for alternatives and find many discourses (e.g., anti-oppressive framework, feminist theories, critical race theories) that allow us to explore and expand. However, we need to continuously and critically examine these emerging frameworks so that they do not become another form of prescription and an oppressive structure. And yet, these alternative discourses provide us with the tools to start the process of dismantling the dominant structures.
We need space for both expansion and constriction as part of our growth and transformation process. The expansion allows us to break free from the dominant and oppressive structures, while constriction allows us to integrate the new insights and stability before the further expansion continues. We need to take risk and adopt newer perspective in order to expand. And then we need to reflect about the new lessons and insights so that we can become an integrated whole once again. This is incorporated in the four quadrants (e.g., individual, family, organizational and community/collective) of our resilience framework. I am seeking encounters within each quadrant so that The Family Centre can transform and grow during this new re-opening phase. I am encouraged to witness enormous passion and clarity among our leadership team, staff, partners, and community members who are relentlessly seeking transformative spaces, moments, encounters and frameworks.