appreciative inquiry

when we hear AI, most of us think of artificial intelligence. when i hear AI, i think of the toughest pound-for-pound nba player in history– allen iverson. but now i have a new, favorite: appreciative inquiry (Ai).

Ai is a process and attitude that focuses on the positive and strengths of individuals and groups that engages us into a new vision. appreciative inquiry helps us see life-giving forces and helps us be thankful for the beauty/art among and within us.

our global claretian leadership and provincial council want us to use this process in our lives. hopefully, Ai will allow us to be more effective as priests and brothers discerning God’s will and our mission in the world. we are learning this unique way of being. this is a new “way of life” for us.

this approach is consistent with the invitation to be thankful for the gifts God has given us. it is easy to focus primarily on the negative and problematic instead of the good and the joyful things among us. are not we called to value, honor and esteem one another as ways of loving our neighbor? ought not these be starting points for seeing one another and ourselves?

on a personal level, i am open to learn this new process. i can too quickly prejudge people and situations toward the negative. this can lead to a closed attitude to what the Spirit might be really doing in the world. am i flexible enough to adopt a “new way of being”? time will tell…

i do believe in the foundational principles on which Ai is built: constructionist, simultaneity, anticipatory, poetic, positive. the constructionist principle is that words create worlds; the simultaneity principle means that inquiry creates change; the anticipatory principle is images inspire action; the poetic principle is what we focus on, grows; positive questions lead to positive change is the positive principle.

what gives us life? where is the good energy in ourselves and the organization?

Ai can help us dream and vision. as a way of being and seeing it can be a tool that helps us frame the world anew and respond differently. we ourselves are part of it all.

may the Spirit lead into this profound appreciation in our lives. may our questions deepen our discovery into the mysteries we are to one another and to ourselves.

for all that has been “THANKS”… for all that will be “YES”

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