Friday, February 10, 2006

Vision With Depth and Perspective

Is there a time you deeply desired to complete a task or shoulder a challenge? Has the call weighed so heavy that you spent each spare moment resetting priorities and adjusting schedules so as to insure no hindrance to your engagement? Has a vision so focused your sight that everything else dissolves into a mist?

How is it that one person looks a vacant lot and sees an office building? Another walks by and sees a garden. A third strolls by and is impressed by the possible home of a ballfield.

Vision draws not from the need. Neither does it draw from available resources. A burning vision and a life-consuming call wells up from the issues that make us unique individuals.

For some in this world, there is no greater calling than to preserve all living things. For others the greatest need is to provide resources for shelter and food the masses so dearly clamor.

These two visions put whalers in high seas in conflict with Greenpeace. The Sierra Club continually opposes the logging industry. (Note: I include these links simply for reference. No stance is taken on either position)

Only the most myopic is unable to see that conservationists and commercialists have a vested interest in making sure the other side wins a few small battles.

They need each other for the competition. It focuses outside attention and raises money for both sides. They each give the other a reason for emotions to run hot and opportunities to cry foul and claim the moral high ground. And, ultimately, they need what the other produces - food, shelter and preserved resources for harvesting another day.

It is when visions, complementary and not totally dissimular, meet that the greatest good rises.

A community had a great health care need. A group of women bore a great calling to serve. A man with great talent and skill in medicine agreed to cooperate. Several generations later Rochester, MN, has the Mayo Clinic.

A vision works best when piggybacked on the calling of another. Each uses their strengths to bolster the other's weakness. One recognizes a single size does not fit all and gender-neutral clothing, though stark and functional, offers little hope for the pizzaz that is needed to call others to join the battle.

There are several things I want to do in the next few years. I'll not bore you with listing them. But if any of them have a hope of making a difference, it will be because I, along with several others, forged a chain strong enough to bind all of us to a common sign post.