Why Not Us?
Recently a few of the visionary people who brought High Desert Partnership to life gathered for a trip down memory lane to share with author and professor Peter Walker (Peter researched and wrote Sagebrush Collaboration
) why and how High Desert Partnership came to be. In remembering those days there were stories about the many conversations that had to happen to make High Desert Partnership a reality.
Almost two decades ago when HDP was a developing idea, its model was unique to Harney County. As much as people may have wanted to do things differently, it was hard to believe that getting the right people in a room to talk and listen to each other could change a culture of working together that inevitably involved conflict. Most likely many people who were first introduced to Harney County's proposed brand of collaboration thought, "well, good luck to you" with tongue in cheek. But you know what, the vision, tenacity, passion, patience and perseverence of a few could see a different way forward and that way forward became a way of working together that is strengthening Harney County.
, a storyteller and person who inspires others to tell their stories has shared: "One of the reasons our stories don't resonate or our ideas don't fly is that deep down we don't believe in them ourselves. We think it's all been said and done before. We question who we are and what right we have to say what we're saying, do what we're doing or dream what we're dreaming. We stop asking—why not me?"
Jiwa is right and fortunately for Harney County the few that got High Desert Partnership going didn't stop to doubt or question themselves or their idea. They had conviction in their idea, the courage to share it over and over and the persistence to bring it to life. This was almost two decades ago and now here we are, with people, like you, who come from near and far to 'collaborate' with your own convictions.
You participate day in and day out to help our small rural community be a place that people are now studying to learn how our collaboration model works to solve incredibly complex problems. If you have any doubt about your contribution to Harney County, know that, this county needs you, people who are working toward a future we all want.
Wishing you a beautiful holiday season,
High Desert Partnership staff: Brenda, Becki, Ben, Robert, Jordan and Marla
Photo provided by Jeremy Hill, jhillimages.com.