Community, Community Building, Community Development, Consultation, Family, Governance

From Governing One’s Family to Governing the World: Learning to Use the Vital Instrument of Consultation

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Someone recently mentioned that there is no institution older than that of marriage, which really got me thinking. If this institution has been part of human society for millennia, why are we still so terrible at maintaining it, with divorce rates in North America so high? No wonder, then, that so many conversations revolve on this topic; nothing like a good old mystery to keep tongues wagging!

Then again, when we consider the stage that humanity is currently at, no wonder marriage and family life are also in such turmoil. As the fundamental unit of society, families are the microcosm within which we can learn and experiment with various skills, techniques, policies, procedures that can then be applied at the level of society. In light of the fact that humanity is striving to build, on top of a foundation of unity and equality, a new world order focused on knowing and worshiping God, it comes as little surprise that the family becomes a laboratory of sorts in which we can figure out with what tools, instruments and materials it can be cemented together.

For example, it’s easy to say on paper that a governing body should consult on all matters; but what does that look like? No one really knows, and it is overwhelming to overhaul an entire system of governance without having any idea what the final product looks like.

But what if, hand in hand with the realization that we need to govern using consultation as a key instrument, all those serving on governing bodies experimented with this concept in the safety and comfort of their own families? All the skills, capacities, insights and learning they would generate in a safe, manageable environment, could then be applied to the really large, overwhelming environment of national governance. And as this learning process continues, no doubt those in these positions of governance will be able to serve the people they represent even more efficiently, because they have learned, step by step, using their families as a learning ground, to use the powerful instrument that is consultation.

So the next time your parents call you to the den for a family consultation, just think about it: this seemingly tedious hour could be the very stepping stone needed to creating a new world order. Pretty insane, no?

Originally published on Sahar’s Blog
on 30 November 2012

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