Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Indaba daba doo?

Amidst slightly extraordinary suggestions by print journalists to their editors that they are revealing things exclusively, I can exclusively reveal that their revelations are there days ahead on various blogs by people who, unlike most of the hacks most of the time, actually know and understand what’s going on.

But here’s the doozy. Indaba only works once the process is aligned with the purpose. In the early stages it has understandably been necessary to be quite directive about set up, and to give timed exercises to get everybody interacting equally. Now the process needs to open up and change gear, so that voices arise with greater freedom, spontenaity and clarity. I suspect this change of gear will be quite challenging for right handed western males. I heard English bishops bemoaning yesterday about the shortage of preparatory papers. Imagine we had all arrived with our briefcases bulging with position papers. How discriminatory is that against brother bishops who don’t have laptop minds and a certain kind of education? How much of a distraction from the actual job of listening and interacting in real time with the flesh and blood human beings in the indaba? An Indian brother told me that the English love to have all the answers in their briefcases before the discussion starts, but we agreed this isn’t that kind of discussion, and working exclusively in that mode has partly created the mess we're in. We need to learn how to listen to fresher, more raw, less prepared voices, which are often more passionate, focussed on God, and formed by hard discipleship faithfuly undertaken.

So we have to start doing indaba in an indaba way, not a Western parody of it.
Over to us, brothers & sisters, to see if we can manage that...

3 comments:

Jogger said...

I like the Indian bishop's opinion of the English. It used to be that our importance was measured by the size of the filofax. Didn't Jesus send people out with instructions to carry nothing in their briefcase? It's hard for us to go anywhere empty handed. Let's hear more about indaba.

Peter Carey said...

It looks like Archbishop Deng arrived with his suitcase full of more than position papers - I am saddened by his rhetoric and vitriolic statements today...

Anonymous said...

nice

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