The name of this blog, Rainbow Juice, is intentional.
The rainbow signifies unity from diversity. It is holistic. The arch suggests the idea of looking at the over-arching concepts: the big picture. To create a rainbow requires air, fire (the sun) and water (raindrops) and us to see it from the earth.
Juice suggests an extract; hence rainbow juice is extracting the elements from the rainbow, translating them and making them accessible to us. Juice also refreshes us and here it symbolises our nutritional quest for understanding, compassion and enlightenment.

Tuesday 12 August 2014

Deepening Community: A Review

Paul Born is an optimist – a joyful optimist.  He thinks that the world can be a better place.  In his latest book, Deepening Community, he asserts that the answer is very, very simple: “bring chicken soup to your neighbour.”
Furthermore, he believes that he knows how it can be a better place. 

With these words Born begins a 140 page journey into the possibility of community.  He shares stories from his own childhood and adulthood, stories from his neighbours, stories from his daughter and from 500 others.

Before setting off on this journey Born sought the insight of 2000 active members of Tamarack (the organisation in Canada that he directs) and received responses from 500 of them.  These responses helped form the basis of the book.

Born’s strength as a writer is that he has the ability to draw from these stories useful concepts, techniques and principles.  He does so with simplicity and clarity.

Noting that we live in challenging (and chaotic) times Born sees the possibility of community arising in three ways:
  • by turning away from others – shallow community.
  • by turning against others – fear-based community.
  • by turning towards others – creating deep community.
We have a choice he says.  It is no surprise that Born chooses the third of these options.  After briefly traversing the dysfunctional approaches of the first two options Born uses the book to uncover ways to deepen community.

For Born the conscious act of building community begins with story.  By sharing stories we discover our shared identity, we begin to understand one another, we celebrate and care for one another, and together we create a better world.  This simple process is described by Born through a series of five stories.  Each of the stories that he shares (be it his own, or Anita’s, Lucas’, Rita’s, Jill’s or Will’s) is packed with the full scope of human emotion and condition. 

Born’s knack is to draw out of each story half a dozen pieces of wisdom that help to deepen our understanding of community and how it is built.

Born’s book is simply written and, in just 140 pages, easily readable.  All in all, it is a joy to read.  Indeed, what are Born’s final words?
“And what is deep community?  It is the process of finding joy – much joy! – together.”

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