Bishop’s Lenten Book Study Week 3
March 15, 2017
Reflection on Chapter 5-6 of the Soul of Money by Lynne Twist
One of the most powerful stories that Lynne Twist tells in The Soul of Money is found in Chapter Six: What You Appreciate Appreciates. It’s the story of the people of Bangladesh and how they began to vision what might be possible for their poor country. Over one thousand men, women and children gathered in a park in Dhaka to take part in a visioning meditation. Sitting quietly with their eyes shut, they meditated upon what it would be like if Bangladesh became known for its art and music and if they, as members of the global community, practiced giving rather than always receiving. As this group sat quietly, Twist noticed that many people had tears streaming down their faces. Hundreds began to weep, men and women alike. “It was as if they had never in their lifetime even thought they could be self-reliant or self-sufficient or a contributing nation,” Twist reflects. “They had never imagined they could be a nation that made a difference for other nations, or that they could be a nation that stood out and had qualities that people admired with a unique role to play in the world community. It was a brave new thought.”
It is amazing how a thought, or a life, can be set on a course of change by the simple question of “What if…?”
Several years ago I experienced this kind of awakening when I learned the process of Appreciative Inquiry (AI). AI begins with a question or a story that is positive and life-giving. One thing that I learned is that, in a way, being asked to wonder gives us permission to dream without censure or judgment. When we are free to express our hopes or inquisitiveness, there is no limit to what might become of our wishes.
What story comes to mind that involves you spending time dreaming of what could be? Is there a story about how you were motivated to make a change in your life? What was it like to do something different and how has it formed you into the person you are today?
Given the opportunity to dream is the first step of hope, and hope is an authentic gift.
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