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Don’t wait

Bill Strickland

Bill Strickland (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I was sleeping fitfully this morning, tossing and turning, not able to get the painful areas to ease up, so I decided to get up a little before 6 am. Heidi then got up to see what was going on and then to go “out.”

So, I made a cup of chai tea and turned on my drug-of-choice, the TV. And, I found Maria Hinojosa‘s “One-on-One” show on our local PBS affiliate, KVIE (Sacramento).

I was so moved and inspired to find this repeat episode from 2010 in which Hinojosa interviewed Bill Strickland, the founder of Manchester Bidwell Corporation in Pittsburgh, PA. Over 40 years ago, Strickland founded the first component of what would be come MBC, the Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild multi-disciplinary arts & learning center. Strickland related his own evolution from being mentored in high school by a teacher, who introduced him to pottery and the bigger world beyond Strickland’s poor neighborhood.

In a day of election attack ads, angry letters to the newspaper, screaming interchanges at public meetings and such, to hear of a successful out-of-the-box & needs-based problem-solving approach to a community issue got me to feeling hopeful. I’d never heard of Bill Strickland or the Craftsmen’s Guild or any of the other social enterprise programs under the MBC umbrella. So, this was an eye-opener for me.

When asked about all the areas of the arts and job training programs that MBC has developed over the years, Strickland answered that he is “constantly evolving,” so his work has done the same.

One teacher, then one student, then one idea and follow-through then another. And, on to one phone call (or was it hundreds?) to inspire funders and other kinds of support and so on.  In other words, one step at a time–doing what we can do about what is right in front of us. And, again following Strickland’s example of constantly evolving, whether on the practical level or spiritual level–or even better, both!

That brings to mind Kellie Garmire’s song, “Joyously Evolving.” Check it out on, http://billybensing.com/new-music/.

Blessed be.

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