This part of the KAN website is about what we are aiming for in our lives. Closely linked to this is what it is to be really well. The words we have to talk about this are problematic. The word ‘health’ has long since become attached to the territory of illness and disease and its treatment. In an attempt to broaden out the meaning, the newly fashionable word ‘wellbeing’ has been bolted on to become ‘health and wellbeing’. But this doesn’t help much. Instead, for this section of the KAN website we have chosen ‘coming alive’. This derives from this well known quotation attributed to Howard Thurman, a mentor and friend of Martin Luther King. They were both campaigners in the US black civil rights movement in the second half of the 20th Century.
Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.
It will be up to contributors to this section to interpret ‘coming alive’ in their own ways. We are all different, yet in some ways we are all the same. So expect to see both big differences and common threads in people’s responses to these two words. What does ‘coming alive’ mean to you? What makes you ‘come alive’?
This part of the KAN website will include items that address the important issues on a broader level, looking at where we as individuals and as part of communities fit in with the wider world. We will cover all sorts of aspects from ethical and environmental to philosophical and spiritual.
He is among those beings of great scope who spread their leafy branches willingly over broad horizons. To be a man is, precisely, to be responsible. It is to know shame at the sight of poverty which is not of our making. It is to be proud of a victory won by our comrades. It is to feel, as we place our stone, that we are contributing to the building of the world.”
― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, ‘Wind, Sand and Stars’
This part of our new website will aim to be part of our work connecting individuals with each other as well as connecting and empowering groups (of which there are around 200 in Keynsham). This will hopefully encourage a sense of belonging to combat isolation as well as bringing people together who have shared interests, concerns and enthusiasm. We will post a variety of material of local interest and hope to encourage participation from groups and organisations. We will also look further afield at what is going on elsewhere to see if we can learn from what is working (and avoid what isn’t!). We expect this to be an emergent process that will evolve over time. So please be patient and get involved!
“One of the marvellous things about community is that it enables us to welcome and help people in a way we couldn’t as individuals. When we pool our strength and share the work and responsibility, we can welcome many people, even those in deep distress, and perhaps help them find self-confidence and inner healing.”
― Jean Vanier, Community And Growth