The Wisdom of a Chinese Proverb

Go to the people.
Live among them.
Learn from them.
Love them.
Start with what they know;
Build on what they have.
But of the best leaders, when their task is done,
The people will remark “We have done it ourselves.”

[Ancient Chinese Proverb]

Until yesterday, I had only been familiar with the last two lines of this proverb. It had a profound impact on me then, and that impact is only strengthened by its full context. This is our heart for the community. This is the initial modus operandi of our ministry in Whitehaven. As such, it seems fitting that I would discover these words on the website for the Christian Community Development Association.

The discovery of this organization is a Godsend. As I begin reading their Philosophy, I knew I had been given a valuable resource. I pray their skillful communication of these ideas will help guide my own words so that anyone who comes to this page walks away with a sense of what we hope to do and why.

For now, I will leave it at that, but in preparation for the next post, I’d like you to contemplate one word – Shalom*.

The noun שלומ (shalom), often translated as “peace,” comes from the verb שלמ (Sh.L.M). The verb shalam means to “restore” in the sense of replacing or providing what is needed in order to make someone or something whole and complete. The noun שלומ (shalom) is one who has, or has been provided, what is needed to be whole and complete.

See you soon!



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