Charley’s World Episode Thirty-Four

A month had passed since Charley and others had launched their efforts on self-esteem. They had agreed to meet one month later to assess progress. Today was the review date.

Pastor Sophia began: “Let me tell you what we in the faith community have done. Every church in the county but one has decided to join our efforts. We have made self-esteem the theme of our sermons for the entire month. I found it surprising that it was so easy to link self-esteem to spiritual messages. When someone comes to us for help, we will often refer them to Charlie and Nellie. I’ve seen a real renewal in faith because they are seeing the opportunities for a new self.

We’ve been swamped,” said Nellie. “I’ve begun a GED class that now has 7 participants. What makes this special is the racial mix. These classes have established a common bond that I don’t think would have happened before.

I started something that I never even thought about before,” said Charley. “As you know, I’ve worked with our coaches to instill the concept of deliberative practice in their team development. Many of those referred to us knew what changes they needed to make in their lives, but they just didn’t have the ability to stick to that change. I’ve helped each of them to understand the concept of deliberative practice. Part of what I’ve done is to provide the feedback that is essential to change.

I’m really impressed,” said Sandra. “Have you begun to see those who come to you for help being ambassadors to others?

We really have,” said Charley.

Let me add another insight,” said Pastor Sophia. “I mentioned that one church did not join with us. The minister of that church is what we call a “fire and brimstone” preacher. He focuses on sinfulness and is a non-believer in what we are doing. We are beginning to see some of those from his church joining with us.

As you know, I’ve been a long-time observer of our community,” said Homer. “For the first time ever, I’m beginning to hear talk of an excess levy to support our schools. The fact that those from that one resistant church are coming to this effort could just be the tipping point. The minister of that church has been a mouth piece for those who don’t want to see change in our community.

I want to bring up something that I didn’t anticipate,” said Charley. “You may remember that we had identified some other areas to work on. These were life purpose, talent, soft skills, citizenship, and learning habits. At the time, we thought we needed to work on just one of these at a time. But that’s not happening. We are, in effect, working on each of them together. And that’s a good thing.” Everyone agreed.

Sandra ended the meeting with a request. “I’d like to begin collecting the oral histories of those you are working with. This could become a model for communities across America.” Everyone agreed.

As the meeting ended, Charley had no ideas what would unfold over the next few years.

* * *

“When revival comes to the human heart, it’s a torrent, it’s a cascade, it’s a deluge. It’s a downpour!” – James MacDonald (pastor)