Guest post: Dreaming


The following comes from House of Friendship’s Chaplaincy Director, Michael Hackbush, on dreaming (in the midst of injustice).



hold true

to a


which gives wings


hope and compassion




and yields


and prosperity




To hold true to a vision is compelling. I remember once being asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” The question to my young self was paralyzing and overwhelming! But upon further reflection, the question opened the door to the grander question of what kind of world to I want to live in? And how will I belong?

House of Friendship (HOF) crafted what I consider to  be THE vision, , “A healthy community where all can belong and thrive.” It seems simple enough but looking a bit deeper, it is a vision beyond inclusion and surviving but points rather to belonging and thriving. In as much as some have said that ‘vision statements’ are things really only created for grant applications etc I  would suggest that vision puts forward an idea or direction toward which many can aspire and belong and can work toward a common purpose with diverse people.

Vision points to something beyond our present circumstances and serves as a compass to give us guidance, and, something with which to test our assumptions. Given the vision here stated, “A healthy community where all can belong and thrive”, how might my decisions be tested? How might my engagement with my community be challenged? Given the reality of today that has required over 4000 food hampers and turkeys to be distributed in KW and area at Christmas time, this vision suggests to me that not all are belonging and certainly not all are thriving. Why? And further, what can I do, or more appropriately, what must WE do to change this reality?

I know that there is much to do AND I know that current policy and decision making is obviously NOT WORKING, so I look for vision through reading about alternatives and so I invite you to join me. The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives or a book entitled The Spirit Level, and a favorite of mine the The Dollars and Sense of Solving Poverty in Canada. All of these feed the vision of belong and thriving. They articulate that another way is possible. They hold true to a vision to which I can aspire and one that can offer hope and direction with compassion that all of us in our wonderful diversity would be compelled to consider or perhaps even embrace.


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