6 Comments

Taking a break from community building activities


I am taking a break from my community building activities. Both my Twitter account and this blog will be much quieter for an indefinite period. I’m also removing myself from nearly all of my committees.

This decision is partially related to not being nominated to sit on the City of Kitchener’s Safe & Healthy Community Committee. But it’s not the only factor and it would be a mistake to link my decision only to my omission from that committee.

I am confident that I have made a difference and proud of what have accomplished. I am pleased that so many folks support the positions I have taken and my overall vision for a better world starting with a better Kitchener.

I also know that many people like how sharing my perspectives provokes them to think. They respect me and my positions and how I communicate them even if they personally disagree.

I stand by all of my community building activities to date even when that has meant ruffling feathers or putting the spotlight on an issue that others wish I didn’t highlight. I am happy with what I have done, why I have done it and how I have done it.

But I only have so much time available. I’ve concluded that it’s best to step back from what I’ve been doing and to reassess my priorities and how I use my time.

What I’ve been doing and the time I’ve devoted to it just isn’t working for me when I look at the big picture of my life. To sustain what I’m doing, I need to be happier with the overall impact including on a personal level. I find it difficult to justify the time I’m spending on those activities. Not how I’m spending that time or the causes I’ve embraced, just the quantity.

While I’m definitely making a difference, I need to feel that I’m achieving something more such as opening new doors that enable me to make a greater impact. Too often I feel like I’m mostly dancing by myself. While I’ve done what I have without any strings or expectations of personally benefiting, I need to feel that I’m not just making deposits in the karma bank but that somehow my life, career and family are in a better place from withdrawals. I don’t believe that’s being selfish but the same need as the personal desires any volunteer hopes to achieve through their altruistic effort.

This is not goodbye. From from it.

At some point, I’ll be back and contributing but when, how and how much is to be determined. I think I’ll be able to strike a better balance for me, my family and my community if I take a break from what I’ve been doing and start fresh after taking time for reflection and making decisions on how best to contribute.

If you’d like to have a conversation to help contribute to my decision-making process, please let me know preferably by sending me a private message.

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6 comments on “Taking a break from community building activities

  1. Many thanks for your contributions to the community James. As a business owner and family man, I can certainly appreciate the toll it takes in other areas and the need to achieve balance. Be well!

  2. I’ve been reading this blog and it’s previous incarnation for the past year and a half- its focus on community building in kitchener is something I deeply appreciate, as well as your local activism, promotion of things like the SmartOnCrime foundation and the JanesWalk you led a while back.

    Thank you James, your work is appreciated.

  3. James Sorry for delayed response and sorry to hear about this. I tried in council to get your name reconsidered but was told by Dan you were not interested at that point. We didn’t always agree but I respected your various opinions. Hope other directions work out for you. Frank

    • Thanks Frank! I appreciate this message. In part because it shows, we don’t have to always agree but can respect people’s genuine efforts to build community.

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