partnerships … the good kind

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A bit of a busy week. i have been running a tour for a couple of guests from Honduras for CAUSE Canada, Edita and Julio where i have been facilitating them as they speak about the issues of partnership and paternalism.

Julio has been giving a great metaphor recently. Basically he says: “at times in our life we are asked to carry a very heavy burden, it is then that we need to ask others to help out. The important thing to remember is that the burden remains my own, it is not your job to remove the load but to come assist me as i call”

What a great way to see the assistance we can sometimes provide, acknowleging the ability, capacity and intelligence of our partners and working with them as they see fit…

Lynn and Desi (from WKC) dropped by on Tuesday night and we chatted about the issues for a couple of hours. i must say that i am glad that Desi’s Espanol is muy bueno. Mine … leaves a little to be desired, although my Monday classes are helping.

In any case, i thought i would post some great quotes on inappropriate partnerships (ones in which one party holds all the power and resources). I have been using these recently in the class i taught at Vanguard as well as teams that i have been helping train … check them out …

Paternalism seeks to provide, without condition, all the needs of one’s subordinates. An example is the over-protective father who, by an unbroken flow of giving, seeks to assure the total happiness of his child. Nothing so stifles the developments of human dignity and self-reliance as paternalism. (Conflict or Connection, p.45)

“Wherever generosity of giving, teaching and helping is of an unconditional character, the recipient must be able to return the gift or some equivalent in order to remain his own respectable self. Otherwise, he will begin seeing himself as inferior to the giver; his personal sense of worth is downgraded, and instead of being grateful, he will be bitter.

Dr. John Janzen, a Christian anthropologist who did his doctoral studies in the Congo


Our intercultural relationships have been likened to a “one-way street mentality”, where our systems are set up in order to deliver goods and people to those poor people over there … those that need our help.


I suppose the question is … what radical restructure is necessary to facilitate a two-way street? What are we offered from some of the most resourceful people on the planet?

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