The blog this week was written by Deborah Warfield, a Community Broker at The Arcadia Institute. Since time immemorial the blocks for building anything have been relationships. Matters little if you have knowledge, access, power or money if you have no relationships.
At The Arcadia Institute, we understand that the very fabric of every success was born out of a relationship. Our relationships as leader/learners, our relationship across agencies and organizations and our relationship to our community and amongst our participants is vital to activating our overall mission as well as our particular mission as Community Brokers.
First of all, in spite of the challenges and stretching associated with being part of an emerging program, I LOVE the work I do as a Community Broker! I tell people all the time that ask me the question, what do I do? I get paid to meet people with needs for inclusion in community. I get paid to hang out with them and build trust while learning more about them and their worlds. I get paid to assist with the mapping out of their dreams. I get paid to help identify personal and community barriers that must be overcome by co-designing action plans and steps. I get paid to laugh at life and cry together in celebration of hurdles overcome. I get paid to embrace the sometimes uncomfortable on the way to mine and their new found freedoms as members in this beloved community. I also get paid to walk alongside our participants as they learn to find and exercise their voice and discover new choices. I get paid to push a little and also wait sometimes for it to be their right time. But most important of all I get paid to be a part of experiencing all the fruit from the labor of identifying and strengthening relationships that yield a much more authentic community.
I ask you to examine your own lives in relationship to your own relationships and imagine how different your lives would be with a little more intention to maximize the value within relationships.
We as a team are called to do that daily. It's harder work and sometimes not the fastest boat to China, but the journey is so rich and worth the effort. Our participants in the Community Broker process become members of our village of Arcadia and not just another file folder in the cabinet. Community Brokering cannot succeed without sincere commitments to relate and build and rebuild relationships.