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All of this will unfortunately go untapped unless we develop a capacity building mindset. A mindset is our way of thinking, a mental attitude or frame of mind. A mindset is our collection of thoughts and beliefs that shape our thought-habits. And your thought-habits affect how we think, what we feel, and what we do. Our mindset impacts how we make sense of the world, our religious vocation and how we make sense of ourselves.
Practical Hints of Capacity Development for the Community Mission
When our capacity to give is expanded so is our capacity to receive. However, our capacity to receive will again depend on our capacity to give! The more we give, the more we will be able to receive! In relating with our staff members, lay collaborators and even with our beneficiaries, let us make conscious effort to develop the capacity for:
1. Showing Tolerance and Acceptance
2. Showing Appreciation and Gratitude
3. Showing Forgiveness and Reconciliation
4. Sharing Hospitality
5. Practicing Humility
Since the ‘lay’ factor is quite sturdy in all our institutions, be it in the school or college, parish or nonformal setting, we are also responsible for the capacity building of our lay collaborators. Therefore, the Salesian community or the Management must ensure that sufficient opportunity is offered to them not only for upgradation in their respective fields but also to enhance their understanding and more creative participation in the mission. May I suggest that regular seminars, conferences, workshops, and personal follow up will achieve these goals:
1. Methodological quality assessment of the individual’s participation in the given responsibility.
2. Promoting personal as well as inter-personal well-being through pedagogy.
3. Collaborative and Network mentality in the workplace.
4. Digital competence in this fast-changing academic and social scenario.
5. Understanding role clarity.
6. Capacity building is not just about ability or capability, but also about responsibility.
It is also good to remember that firstly, the actual strategies for building capacity need to be specified and implemented accordingly. As capacity building is a process, the outcome results may vary in intensity and also in duration. Secondly, because capacity building tends to be an evolving process, different measures may be
required at different stages of the capacity building process. And finally, capacity may develop in areas other than that which was originally anticipated! Thus, additional measures of capacity building may need to be developed as the process evolves. Finally, for us religious, capacity development for the community mission also means:
a) To come out of our comfort zone in order to make others more comfortable.
b) To broaden our capacity by believing something you previously thought impossible.
c) To believe in God like Abraham who left what was familiar and held onto the promises of God.
d) To trust in God like Noah who had never seen the rain but obeyed and built the ark.
e) To hope in God like the Centurion who knew one word from Jesus would bring life
Negative conversations will adversely affect our capacity for increase. We can never be motivated by those who aren’t motivated. We can never share dreams with those who aren’t dreamers. We can’t talk about achieving our goals with those who don’t have any. Notwithstanding all this, since the mission is entrusted to the community, if we desire to increase our capacity, we need to make sure that our community members are also with us.
When community members are aware of the needs, beliefs, and emotions of others; when they take predilection in their interactions with them; when they are disposed to seek out and value connections with others; when they feel common bonds with them and are motivated to maintain them – those personal qualities – call them spiritual assets – are likely to facilitate capacity building for the community mission.
However, it is good to remember that while Jesus encouraged the disciples to do the right thing, in the end, he had to do the right thing alone! Eventually, of course, except one, all the others followed him faithfully till the end. Jesus did not allow the disappointment of the situation to keep him from what he needed to do. Sometimes, we must move beyond our hurt feelings and push through to take the higher ground. He asked us to be imitators of his grace, love and wisdom, and he never asks us to do something that he isn’t going to give us the power to fulfil through his grace.