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Shared Goals: Learning to listen and learn

Citizens First Foundation C.I.C, Northamptonshire

Community organisers and volunteers

Quite often in the past, I used to get easily flustered by life’s little idiosyncrasies, but not anymore. I suppose with age, I have learnt to respect and gracefully appreciate life’s weird sense of humour. I have accepted that there is a lesson in everything that happens to us. Hence, the determination to master the art of learning to learn, unlearn and relearn.

I was opportuned to attend a Train the Trainers workshop last week at Yarnfield Park, Staffordshire, organised by the Company of Community Organisers Ltd (COLtd). For those unfamiliar with the Community Organising Programme, our gatherings usually present opportunities to catch-up with peers, make new friends and acquire new skills. Personally, I usually finish these meet-ups refreshed, knowledgeable and smarter on all things community organising.

Rightly, the lure of these meetings never ceases to stimulate me. One of such little privileges come from the pleasure of meeting a diverse range of people and ideas, from different neighbourhoods across England. Despite perceived differences, we all still ‘believe in the importance of making a better world and a better society for oneself and others. That, individuals, groups and communities have the ability to work together to make that change.’ H E Research Institute, (1996)

We share similar aspirations, concerns, dreams and basic life expectations. Within this context, we also acknowledge that poverty, hunger and social insecurity does not respect ethnic, regional and international boundaries.

Whether we chose to lean towards the right or left, or standing at the centre of the universe, human conditions such fear, love, failure, determination, prejudice and hope have always remained constant. They remind us of life, of winning and losing.

We can either hide from this reality, or organise against the system, which promotes inequality, division, racism and social decay.

The power within us must start with self-realisation. This means questioning, listening and challenging our own reality, and a ‘closed’ world order mentality of ‘we against them’. Thereafter, we must keep learning to relearn while participating.

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