Friday, July 27, 2007

what is social capital?

"those tangible substances [that] count for most of the daily lives of people: nameley, good will, fellowship, sympathy, and social intercourse among the individuals and families who make up a social unit... The individual is helpless socially, if left to helpself... if he comes into contact with his neighbor, and they with other neighbors, there will be an accumulation of social capital, which may immediately satisfy his social needs and which may bear a social potentiality sufficient to the substancial improvement of living conditions in the whole community. The community as a whole will benefit by the cooperation of all its parts, while the individual will find in his associations the advantages of the help, the sympathy, and the fellowship of his neighbors."

written in 1916 by L.J. Hanifan urging the importance of community involvement for sucessful schools, he invoked the idea of "social capital" to explain why.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

a new venture?

"A good barometer to determine whether something will be of benefit materially, is whether it is the proper thing to do spiritually. A business venture that implies breaking your moral principles will also be detrimental materially.

At times, we experience tremendous pressure when our ethics seem to stand in the way of success --but this is only an illusion. The spiritual and the material are in conflict only to our subjective eyes. In fact, they work in harmony as one."


Wednesday, July 18, 2007

find the spark

"In every hardship, search for the spark of good and cling to it. If you cannot find that spark, rejoice that wonder beyond your comprehension has befallen you.

Once you have unveiled and liberated the spark of good, it can rise to overcome its guise of darkness and even transform the darkness fully to light." rebbe wisdom

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

paper tiger world

"There are two paths:

One: Everything is for the good. Perhaps not immediately, but eventually good will come out from it.

The other: Everything is truly good --because there is nothing else but He Who is Good. It’s just a matter of holding firm a little longer, unperturbed by the phantoms of our limited vision, unimpressed by the paper tiger that calls itself a world, and eventually we will be granted a heart to understand and eyes to see. Eventually, it will become obvious good in our world as well."

A Daily Dose of Wisdom from the Rebbe
-words and condensation by Tzvi Freeman

Sunday, July 15, 2007

creative people and creative spaces

what would happen if a couple of passionate people got together and focused their creative thoughts towards solving a problem?

robert putnam discusses several stories of people who do just that. facing topics such as bringing peace to a neighborhood plagued with crime to a city wide creative project to host a neutral space where people of opposite viewpoints can co-exist for the benefit of a greater whole.

reading his book "better together" stirs in me a longing to be involved in something significant. my searching has been ongoing for some time. i have found bits and pieces of it in my own home. i would love to add to that a project that reaches out into the community and city in which i live every day. there must be something at work out there that is bigger than i am, but that requires my efforts and that of others who are willing to sacrifice time and resources in order that someone else might have the opportunity to experience belonging, purpose, and hope for a future.

social entreprenuership is a field that has recently popped up and really pushes my button. the idea of bringing people together who might not normally meet but yet find themselves compelled to join hand in hand to bring about change is a challange that sparks my soul. whether it is creating something new or whether it is renovating something that is completely outdated doesn't really matter.

maybe my searching is a search to find soemthing that is in need of repair. as i have been doing some much needed updates in my own home, i am also looking outside for a house or project that needs some restorative attention. as hard as it might be to believe, i find that most people don't want help or they don't want to admit that they could use some help. i wish the phone would ring and someone would say, help. i think the One who repairs the world knows that i want to help and i pray that things are in motion that will soon reveal themselves and that the project may begin.