I was recently part of a program in which the facilitator distributed several cards with compelling photographs on them. He asked us to choose a single picture that stood out to us for whatever reason, and draw a connection between that picture and our experience at the program. It was a really fun activity, and it was also fascinating to hear the truly creative interpretations of the pictures by the other participants. Metaphors and analogies are powerful ways to creatively explore all kinds of issues and to reach possibilities we might not otherwise find.
At your next chapter retreat, staff meeting, or council meeting, take out a stack of interesting pictures, distribute them, and ask those attending the meeting to make a connection between the picture at the current state of the organization. Or, ask them to share how the picture symbolizes the future they want to see. Or better yet, their contributions to that future.
Given this blog's primary subject matter, let's play this out with fraternity. Below are several images. Choose one that symbolizes for you what fraternity means, and one that symbolizes your beliefs about the future of the fraternity movement. Ask your brothers or sisters to do the same. Feel free to use the pictures below (they are public domain) to start a creative thinking process in your organization.
And, if you are so bold, feel free to write about your own reflections on a particular image in the comments section below so we can all learn from each other.
Here's one from me. Like fraternity, this image reflects mystery and wonder. Many observers cannot explain what exactly it is. However, it is still admired and respected because it has stood the test of time. People gravitate to this structure because they want to be connected to something bigger than themselves - something they don't quite understand but know is special. Our sustained future will require many things, and one of the most important is that we retain this sense of uniqueness.
Big news! Many most-read and beloved posts from this blog have been compiled into a book, Forever Fraternity: Essays to Challenge, Celebrate and Advance the College Fraternity. Discussion questions have been added in order to make the book an educational tool as well.
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