Saturday, January 24, 2009


I'm discovering that proximity is an important reality for me.  It can be proximity in many ways - geographical, relational, technological, mutual goals, contact; somehow "closeness" is important, whatever the form.  As I have thought about some people I've been equally committed to and what has fostered the development of one relationship and our relating and what has hindered another - proximity has been what I've begun to explore as the distinguishing factor.  The more the levels of proximity overlap, the greater the room for the growth of friendship, mutuality, the knowingness and being known and presence in each others lives.  This means that I share life more with some people in other countries who are also technologically connected than I do with some people who I dearly like to who live in the next suburb.  It also seems for me that proximity produces proximity (I am more likely to initiate relating with people who are proximate than the one who is not proximate).  

The realisation of this in the last 24 hours has freed me not only in the particular context I was reflecting on but others where the reality of life just does mean we are not in proximity.  Doesn't mean I care any less but given what I'm discovering about myself (probably in some degree everyone) it is the reality that governs who and what I am going to give myself to.  

It's also helpful to reflect on because it does seem that it means that I'm increasingly focused on the present - which is a marked and very healthy shift for someone who has spent alot of time holding onto the past.

The current moment is all we have and it is precious.


I have been reading lots recently and have been really refreshed and empowered by it.  I have recently read a book called "The Social Entrepreneur" by Andrew Mawson.  It's a great book.  There are lots of things that I have been led to think about and do coming out of reading it but one thing that has really impacted me is his take on fairness.  I'm not sure if it's a quote or not but there is certainly a sense that the concept of fairness hinders innovation.  Intrinsically many of us value fairness; we have been brought up understanding that it's an ideal principle.  But where do we get that from and is it actually what creates the best society or even does it work?  As I ponder this, I've been thinking about it in all sorts of contexts: two three yr old friends of mine are regularly heard saying "but that's not fair" (I'm sure you can all imagine that well!); the concept of fairness hinders freedom as I think about who I am in different relationships - if I concentrate on fairness across relationships I actually can't really give myself in a real, mutual and present way to any relationship; as I think about conversations about the future direction of the community space/church building I'm involved in reshaping the concept of fairness can threaten to stiffle forward movement so much so that in wanting to be fair to all we would not really do anything well for anyone; is God 'fair'? increasingly I think not!

Removing 'fairness' as a value allows great freedom and treatment of people much more as people and less as objects, it allows from the heart responses, it allows us to make a difference in the corners of the world where we can, are present in and have passion for which has to be better for everyone in the long term. 

Farewell 'fairness'!