A World of Possibilities
It is canny how ideas converge to capture our attention. Among Heathrow's advertising graffiti last week was the strap: HSBC - the Bank that sees a world of possibilities.
During a training event this month, school governors were introduced to the idea of 'possibility thinking' - what happens when a student believes that they are an A-grade student? What happens when teachers perceive their students worthy of the A-grade? It would appear that the students cease to operate from a basis of fear, or in a spirit of competition, they become adventurous and creative, they begin to live into their possibilities. They live into the person they want to be. Teachers find new respect and passion for those they teach and find common purpose with their students.
Coincidently one of the themes in our Trans-European Division meetings was 'thinking possibilities'. We were challenged to think of 82,000 members all inspired to speak of God's grace, people in twenty nations speaking to needs and conflicts of their communities, we spoke at length of the coming Christ who will overcome in the face of the saga of controversy during the last six thousand years of human history. We spoke with passion about recognising possibilities, gifts for service and leadership, in every person both male and female.
Ben and Roz Zander, in their inspiring 'The Art of Possibility' write as follows:
"The action in the universe of possibility may be described as generative , or giving, in all senses of the word - producing new life, creating new ideas, consciously endowing with meaning, contributing, yielding to the power of contexts. The relationship between people and environments is highlighted, not the people and things themselves. Emotions that are relegated to the special category of spirituality are abundant here: joy, grace, awe, wholeness, passion and compassion."
"You are more likely to be successful overall, if you participate joyfully with projects and goals and do not think your life depends upon them...resources are likely to come to you in greater abundance when you are generous and inclusive and engage people in your passion for life... In the universe of possibility, you set the context and let life unfold."
"The leader of possibility invigorates lines of affiliation and compassion from person to person in the face of a tyranny of fear",... we can exercise this kind of leadership whoever or wherever we are.
Clearly, when we think possibility with respect to our neighbours, we see them not as enemies to be conquered, or heathens to be converted, incorrigible secularists, but people created in the image of God who could grow into disciples of Christ. People like James and John, common fishermen, to whom Jesus simply said: follow me. The same people who years later described the vision of their experience: for we beheld his glory, full of grace and truth.
Thank you for seeing possibility in the people you serve by offering them hope in these times of despair.
Improbable, but with possibility!
By Victor Pilmoor - Treasurer, British Union of Conferences of the Seventh-day Adventists
Leadership Development Journal - January 2012