written by  guest contributor: Matt Rezac
Director of Rural Community Partnerships, Sherwood Foundation

On networks…

Ask to enter humbly.
Assume you have no answers.
Present yourself as truthfully as you can muster.
But mostly, just hush up and listen
Watch, pay attention,
Share appreciation for what you observe generously–
And out of respect–be accurate too.

Treat everyone as the uniquely-located hub they are.
Seek to be a positive virus and
Allow others to infect you as well.
If you’re changing your mind and behavior, you’re on the right track.
There is insight at every location if approached this way.

By God, steer clear of static minds,
Unless it’s your own, then meet it head-on.
Because we sorely need new ideas
And seem to have forgotten that creativity requires living networks
More than studios, laboratories, the well-honed strategy, the grant.
Assembling ourselves like machines, we’ve become “less together”.

Time to clear that out, put sunlight to soil and grow creative networks that:

  •  Provide solitude (but die in isolation)

They help us connect the ideas
We only admit in the quiet of our minds
With the ones they only admit in the quiet of theirs,
Giving us something new that is not-so-quietly Ours.

  •  Inquire, learn, seek

They seek differences that matter
And link them,
Which means they embrace change
Seek it
Thirst for it
Are it.

  •  Are curious!
  •  Have fun

Kind of fun where we can
Chew the breeze and
Shoot the fat
With whoever is around, then

Go ⇒ Do.
Go ⇒ Do.
Go ⇒Do.

  •  Sustain intention, because, you know…we’re squirrels.

Finally, and don’t forget this:

Money, talent and ideas get stuck without trust,
Like an angsty mental loop that spins and spins and spins.
Focus on the trust, earn it and give it,
Just get it out of your head.
You might still die poor, untalented and dull
But you’ll have friends
And the network will remember you.

Matt- 3 girls
(This is a picture of Matt and his three adorable daughters.)


Thanks Matt for your thoughtful remarks on networks!


2 thoughts on “On NETWORKS

  1. Kayla, I don’t know the protocol on this, but would it be OK to repost this on the Great Plains ToP Facilitators Facebook page, citing the source? This is great stuff!



    Liked by 1 person

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