Ring the bells that still can ring,
Forget your perfect offering,
There’s a crack in everything –
That’s how the light gets in .
– Leonard Cohen, “Anthem”
The greatest and most fundamental problems of life
are fundamentally unsolvable.
They can never be solved,
but only outgrown. – Carl Jung
When we confess our virtues we are competitors,
when we confess our sins we are brothers.
– Karl Barth
“When we were children,
we used to think that when we became grown-ups
we would no longer be vulnerable.
But to grow up is to accept vulnerability.”
– Madeleine L’Engle
In the tradition of pilgrimage … hardships are seen not as accidental but as integral to the journey itself. Treacherous terrain, bad weather, taking a fall, getting lost — challenges of that sort, largely beyond our control, can strip the ego of the illusion that it is in charge and make space for true self to emerge. If that happens, the pilgrim has a better chance to find the sacred center he or she seeks. Disabused of our illusions by much travel and travail, we awaken one day to find that the sacred center is here and now — in every moment of the journey, everywhere in the world around us, and deep within our own hearts.
– Parker J. Palmer, Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation
The mission of a community is to give life to others, that is to say, to transmit new hope and new meaning to them. Mission is revealing to others their fundamental beauty, value and importance in the universe, their capacity to love, to grow and to do beautiful things and to meet God. Mission is transmitting to people a new inner freedom and hope; it is unlocking the doors of their being so that new energies can flow; it is taking away from their shoulders the terrible yoke of guilt and fear. To give life to people is to reveal to them that they are loved just as they are by God, with the mixture of good and evil, light and darkness that is in them; that the stone in front of their tomb in which all the dirt of their lives has been hidden can be rolled away. They are forgiven; they can live in freedom.
– Jean Vanier, Community and Growth
“The definition of leadership as “vision” trips a variety of cliches. Leadership as “vision” has become another way about exercising dominance and pushing other people around your ideas. Governor Gray Davis of California–subsequently recalled–was toast the minute he said, early in his term, that the state legislature’s job was to “implement my vision.” Vision has become a way of declaring dominance, of achieving alpha status and stats.
“Futhermore, “vision casting” is most often nothing more than “strategic planning” board games. “Visionary” endows shopworn ideas with new roadworthiness and respectability. Even worse, when leadership development is disfigured as “the vision thing,” we are teaching a dysfunctional system to leaders whose success will hinge on their ability to dismantle the very thing they’ve been taught.”
– Leonard Sweet, Summoned to Lead. 17