I’ve been asked to be a referee for a few people lately and it is the trust of a trusted person that does the invisible due diligence in this process – a kind of reverse gaslighting. I really love being given these opportunities as I know my reputation means something and therefore my endorsement might be truly helpful in getting a person over the line. I get the pleasure of seeing them move to into a role they want and then they are in a place that might extend their reach as well. It feels like an expanding universe.
I was surprised on Friday at the national impact and innovation festival, SouthStart, by what I am going to call the boomerang effect! My ‘show not tell’ lessons came back to me and the one I am sharing in this year’s blog of invisibility and visibility was made tangible. In what could only be considered a supercharged quickly assembled campaign was underway right under my nose for the past ten days. Communities of communities were linked together through the leadership and due diligence of a group of friends, who don’t actually know each other that well, but they all know me, and one way or another have been connected through me. They generated a crowdfunding campaign to make visible their support for my voluntary contributions to filling in some of the infrastructure gaps in our impact enterprise ecosystem. This is work that rests on the apex of equity and inclusion. It is systems work, it is not reform or renewal. By definition this is working in sets of interactions and where people, activities, tools, technologies, places and networks intersect and influence each other. It requires an ability to morph and move with agility and intention in both visible and invisible ways.
The campaign conspirators want this work to be recognised and rewarded by the people who benefit from this and those who want to see more of it. One of the secret squirrels told me ‘well we’re only doing what you’ve taught us to do – we’re making all your invisible contributions, visible!” This past 12 months I have taken a personal stand to do less paid work and concentrate on contributing into the spaces that I know I can leverage and shift with my time and talents.
I was lured into story telling some of my invisible acts over the years before the campaign was publicly revealed to me. On reflection I have considered the power of story, yet again as truth telling and a way of leaving a trail of crumbs to discovery and transformation.
This past 12 months I have taken a personal stand to do less paid work and concentrate on contributing into the spaces that I know I can leverage and shift with my time and talents. I am focussing on ways to distribute power and bring my creativity to make this revolution, irresistible. The gender gaps are foundational for me and patriarchy as a system just has to go, for all of us and our planet. It is toxic and is killing us all.
I am so deeply humbled and moved by the 86 early adopters who made a contribution to the crowdfunding campaign before Friday when the cat was let out of the bag! They have since been joined by more over the last couple of days. I love the genius of the whole approach, to have the community who see me doing what I do at systems level and are now asking that I do more of it in their name with their financial support, this is the best kind of reference I could ever have.
Those that know me deeply will know, I would never have agreed to this approach if asked, as I see so many women in particular, who constantly give to their communities with little or no recognition or reward. I think of the Aunties and Grandmothers in many Aboriginal communities, of the mothers and sisters holding on tight to cultural knowledge in the face of violence and displacement. I feel so privileged. As a tertiary educated white woman of settler stock, living on stolen land, I am not part of an oppressed minority. I do try to understand my privilege and use my power responsibly. I think of myself as a creative and a pilgrim. My privilege is a responsibility and I promise to accept your gifts with the love you have given them and I see you for your contribution to my life, however humble or grand, I cherish it as sincere and generous. The dollars turning up on the page are no measure of the love and trust you put in me. I am excited about the model this has created and support it 100%. I am inspired to more of this for others and with others.
My inability to notice an army of schemers, is testimony to the trust the organisers imbued in each other and my focus being elsewhere. I have missed a few things over the years, a couple of giant ones, causing surprises that delivered trauma because I had my attention averted away from myself. This time I am glad my predisposition, was at work, allowing me to have a wonderful surprise and to feel all that it meant to me and to others. I can claim that part of myself back, that innocent, empathic self, and this is an unexpected and very welcome by-product of such an extraordinary event. Healing created by friends, delivered by community, received with love.
PS Now that the secret is out there are a few more days left in the campaign if you want to make a contribution https://startsomegood.com/equity-weaver-fund