How to build a cathedral. A metaphor, Part1

We ‘modern’ humans are not very good at long term anything. Show me anyone anywhere who thinks about the next 1000 years when they set out to make something now?

We could argue that with the accelerated acceleration of technology and change, to even think beyond 10 years is futile as the world will be very different then.

Yet once upon a time humans imagined cathedrals that stood for a thousand plus years. The person planning the cathedral knew he/she might never see the finished product. Yet they saw it in their minds eye and held that vision alive to inspire whole communities to stay engaged in the cathedral build for hundreds of years, across generations.

In a conversation this past week about setting up a new structure for an enterprise I was invited to use the ‘standard’ rules/constitution as an interim measure and to expedite the setting in place. I declined.

When we set out to build a cathedral designed to last into generations, we must take the time to get the foundations right. Not perfect. Not writ in stone. But evoking the essence. the primary DNA of the very thing we are building.

How easy it is to skip this step…to be drawn by the lure of the excitement to come. Yet it is this work…the foundational work, that sets the frame for the long term, for health, wholeness, solid relational dynamics and all the very things our society needs in desperate measure.

Taking the time to do the hard work at the front of any engagement, any relationship, any design…is the step most people skip. Yet this is the step to ease, beauty, and flow.

And long term.

Photo credit: Julien via Compfight

 

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