Dear alumni/ae and friends,
For me, one of the words that has moved from its common use as a noun to a verb is collegiality. The thesaurus says other words that mean the same thing include concerted, coordinated, harmonious, interdependent, reciprocal, symbiotic, united, coefficient, collective, combining, common, joining, team, agreeing, coacting, coactive, collaborating, collaborative, collusive, concurring. I suspect that you may find yourself somewhere in this list of ways in which we relate to others. At its heart, collegiality represents cooperation between colleagues who share responsibility in a working relationship. Be it in the business world, academia, government, and the list goes on. At its heart, it is a sense of recognizing that we are in this together and we need to figure out how we are going to come up with a working relationship that helps the organization not only exist, but thrive.
Where it becomes a verb for me is when I focus on the act of forming ourselves into that relationship. It signals our willingness to listen and learn from each other and to entertain the ways in which we may need to change or recognize that we may need to deepen and expand what we are already doing. Collegiality as a verb can’t be individualistic because it assumes that there are others we are in relation to and that we both recognize their humanity and shape our responses accordingly. Interestingly, we can only do this, I think, if we have done an honest self-inventory and are honest about who we are, what we believe, and examine if our beliefs and actions are lining up consistently.
In some sense, I think that we do collegiality in the everyday acts of being in community with others. And on our best days, there is a good bit of joy living in that community as we celebrate the small and large gains of being committed to an every-inviting Spirit that encourages us with such images as transformation, hope, love, justice. It has been a blessing to be in this community that dares to call itself schola prophetarum. Just the idea of this speaks to the growing heart that collegiality calls us to.