I recently forgot what was important. Values are important to me. I take advisement from research (or as Capella would have it, I am a critical thinker). I try to live my life in balance, in positive relationships. I get lessons once in awhile. The lesson today – science and storytelling.
Most nonprofit work and especially Restorative Justice depends on the social value created. We know the fabric of community changes when we do things that promote the good of people.
Check out this great story on a celebration in Yellow Medicine County. The story, explains the program beyond dollars and numbers.
In my reading for school, Integrating Mission and Strategy for Nonprofit Organizations, social value was defined as things that are: spiritual, moral, societal, aethetic, intellectual and enviornmental. Nonprofits promote mission for the social value created. The author adds that social value TRANSCENDS economic value. Our mission statements are the fuel providing psychological energy (Phills, 2005). You can’t measure that kind of energy and for each person it can change over time. My relationships to those social values has gotten deeper with more and more Restorative Justice expereinces. I have gotten to know, to really know how these things work. Stats are great, the power of the story is even better.
So I know this. In my head and in my heart. There is science (outcomes, stats, concrete things) and there is story (values, feelings, knowing). This knowing doesn’t prevent me from being overly attached to a number. The number is just over 115,000. That’s the number of site visits to my blog, Circlespace. I have recently moved from a long web address that includes wordpress, to a nice short web address of www.circle-space.dev.
Right now, the site stats have not transfered. Last I checked, only 232 site visits on the new site. I am not taking this well. I found myself urgently explaining to my web contractor how I want to be blogging for Time and Newsweek and 200,000 is so much better than 200. I caught myself, because I felt anxiety as I was telling her this. I never started this blog to be blogging for Time or Newsweek. I started this blog to help people with Restorative Justice, especially Circles. I recognized my anxiety as a drift from my priorities.
The wonderful calm, technology person, pointed out my content transfered. I realized things could be worse. All 607 posts are available at www.circle-space.dev. We are working on the subscriptions moving and potentially the statistic rank. My lesson, for me, the one I am sharing here, is to remember there are many influences. We need to remember our original intentions, not to get caught up in a number.
Consilience – the merging of knowings. Using research, practice and values, overlap those Circles, and in the middle is truth.
The truth is, I get to think outloud emotionally and intelectually with the blog. One of my favorite bloggers, Penelope Trunk, pointed this out in a recent blog bootcamp. The ranking being 1 million or 10 doesn’t matter, if the benefit is my sense of helping, my social value OR the social value for one person, then this blog has purpose. The story of this blog, as I have experienced it, is that it helps. The story of this blog, is that it gets shared. I’ve been told it does provide value.
I value social value. I found myself getting an attachment to a numeric value. Blogging is a great way to clarify your values, I just literally told everyone about my journey. I took a trip, I tripped up what I know, I attached to something different a number vs a value.
I’m telling you, to help you remember consilience – the merging of your knowing. Find your truth in the center of research, practice and values.