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Creating Community

Updated: Sep 24, 2020

The hero’s journey is a classic story structure that has, and continues to be, shared by all world cultures. Basically, there is a call to adventure, a series of initiations or trials, and a rebirth or awakening of the hero that involves returning with some gift which is helpful for the community. Percival, hearing the call to adventure, desired to be part of King Arthur’s Round Table. Part of Percival’s trial is to discern when to ask the necessary question. Now, early in his adventure, he was admonished for asking too many silly questions. So, when Percival enters the Grail Castle of the Fisher King and sees a bleeding lance, a silver grail, and a wounded king, Percival resists the urge to ask: What is happening here? King, what ails thee? These questions, because of their nature to understand, would have resulted in the king, along with the kingdom, being healed. By not asking the necessary question, Percival fails this test and must continue on his journey. By the time he finds the Grail Castle again, he has garnered some wisdom and discernment and is able to ask the necessary question and so bring healing.

This idea of asking the necessary question is what motivated Oprah Winfrey to change the way she works in communities. Oprah came to see that when faced with tragedies in our communities, like mass shootings and police violence, the question we should ask is not why would someone do such a thing, but what happened to that person? What ails thee? These questions seek understanding of others. Asking these questions doesn’t legitimize the behavior, but humanizes the person.

If we want to effectively understand and be in community with others, then we need to first ask the necessary questions of ourselves. This is where understanding and community starts - with ourselves, our inner community. How we move in ourselves is how we move in the world.

If you missed the Creating Community Webinar, you can watch it below!

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