Thursday, February 09, 2012

Blog Guelph: Community Starts At Home

The Long Road by chris_starscream
The Long Road, a photo by chris_starscream on Flickr.

I’ve been fooled by people, we all have.

The adage you can’t judge a book by its cover might just seem like a flippant old saying, but it holds ages worth of truth – particularly when it comes to people.

There are those out there in the world who banner the warmth of flashy, charming, and spiritually seductive frontages, causing us to want to draw near them. But I hope we’ll all take time, before we draw too near, to consider what lies behind those cover pages and to question whether, beyond the allure of an attractive veneer, there is a deeper story these people have to offer. To ask if they could share it with us. And if so, to determine if it’s a tale of compassion and love and the struggle to be a better human being in their personal lives, and not just their public image.

Before converting ourselves spiritually or socially as followers to any leader or to any cause, it is our responsibility to find out for ourselves whether, behind all appearances, behind that appealing binding, there is a story that we truly desire to believe in, to partake in.

For how can any leader build a community when they have not built their own lives?

I always say that trust is earned, not owed. So at every turn of trust that you are lead to give in your life, whether in community, or in love, I urge you to open up that book, that person, and to really examine what’s inside. To be sure that you are investing yourself, and aligning yourself, with authenticity - with someone who knows how to love; to be true; to care deeply about the people in their private lives - even before those in their public lives.

To be sure that they would fearlessly fell ego before fall.

If in looking deeper, you do not find the pages writ with these heartfelt and vulnerable lines, chances are you are looking at a pretty fancy cover – a façade. A stunning lack of authenticity. An ego. So be wary and find your distance.

Because you know, community, and love, starts at home.

Don’t let anyone tell you they can build something for others that they cannot build for themselves.

~Aidan M.D. Ware

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For more great Guelph photos, try these links:

Downtown Guelph, University of Guelph, The Guelph Hillside Festival or The Guelph Lake Conservation Area.

On the other hand, you may be curious about what the City of Guelph looked like last October or maybe Spring.

Indeed you may be the type that would love to wade through our deep and refreshing archives. There are over 5,000 terrific Guelph photos, taken by a growing tribe of fantastic photographers, currently available for your viewing pleasure. Check out the Blog Guelph archives located 'back up there' and appropriately titled: Blog Guelph Archives.