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A Mini Questionnaire from The IPCR Initiative

One of The Eight IPCR Concepts [and thus part of a “constellation” of initiatives advocated by The Interfaith Peacebuilding and Community Revitalization (IPCR) Initiative] is “Questionnaires That Help Build Caring Communities”. The description of that concept offered in the document “Brief Descriptions of The Eight IPCR Concepts” begins as follows: “Organizations and communities of people often use questionnaires and surveys to identify problems and solutions, and to build consensus for collective action. Here are some example questions which are designed to be helpful in building caring communities. Hopefully, providing a few examples here will bring forth many more examples, and thus assist in building a resource base for future questionnaires that help build caring communities….”.

In this post I have included 10 questions from “The IPCR Workshop Primer” Section 10 (“39 Suggestions for Preliminary Survey Questions (as Preparation for Community Visioning Initiatives)”.

I believe it would be educational to discover how members of this worldpulse.com community would respond to this questionnaire, and so I encourage readers of this post to respond, in comments to this post, or to me directly at stefanpasti@ipcri.net (in an informal survey like this, confidentiality would be difficult, as there can be no authoritative process for assuring the source of responses). I will allow some time for responses to be made. If after 6 weeks, there are more than 5 responses, I will compile the results, and post them here.

There is much that can be learned when questions are asked which are intended to discover valuable insight into the whys and hows of being effective in the fields of peacebuilding, ecological sustainability, community revitalization—and the many other fields of activity necessary to overcoming the challenges of our times. It is possible that a small beginning at creating a database of helpful questions can lead to a larger collection, which can be used by many people to identify problems and solutions. If there are readers who have questions they would like to add to this “mini questionnaire” (to seek responses), I invite them to do so.

[For those who would like to discover more about The IPCR Initiative: The IPCR Initiative website is located at www.ipcri.net (Note: All IPCR documents are accessible for free). Also, an IPCR group has been created on the following platforms: Peace and Collaborative Development Network, PeaceNext, PeacexPeace, and Facebook.]

Here is the Mini Questionnaire:

[Note: The numbers associated with the questions are reference to the question number in document “The IPCR Workshop Primer” ]

(#3) An Initial Assessment

For the questions below, please check the box which best corresponds to the way you view the following statements:

a) “As a result of the unprecedented opportunities created by the expansion of the Internet, we have now arrived at a very auspicious moment in time… for at no other time in the course of history has so many people had access to so much in the way of time-tested guidelines, inspiring role models, and service-oriented initiatives relevant to peace, prosperity, and happiness for all humanity.”

__ I believe it—and there is much evidence to support it

__ I believe it—and there is sufficient evidence to support it

__ I would like to believe it, but there isn’t enough evidence to support it

__ It is difficult to believe it, with the way things are going now

__ I don’t believe it—there is no evidence to support it

b) “There are countless numbers of ‘things people can do in the everyday circumstances of their lives’ which will contribute to peacebuilding, community revitalization, and ecological sustainability efforts, in their own communities and regions—and in other parts of the world.”

__ I believe it—and there is much evidence to support it

__ I believe it—and there is sufficient evidence to support it

__ I would like to believe it, but there isn’t enough evidence to support it

__ It is difficult to believe it, with the way things are going now

__ I don’t believe it—there is no evidence to support it

#6. Most Difficult Challenges, Most Valuable Resources

a) From your point of view, what are the most difficult challenges of our times?

b) Do you believe that we—collectively—have the resources necessary to overcome the challenges you
have identified as the most difficult challenges of our times?

c) If your answer to Question #2 is yes, please describe the resources you believe will contribute the
most to helping us—collectively—overcome the challenges you identified.

d) If your answer to Question #2 is no, please offer any and all sincere, constructive, relevant, and
practical suggestions for what we—collectively—can do to inspire, encourage, and/or create the
resources you believe would be necessary to overcome the challenges you identified.

(#7) Engines of Economic Stability

Many people seem to be worried that “the economy” will collapse if there is widespread movement from “consuming material goods and ecological resources indiscriminately” to “discriminating carefully about use of material goods and ecological resources”… and yet many of the challenges of our times are very deeply rooted in cultural traditions, which suggest that it may require decades, generations, or even centuries to resolve such challenges. Surely, there will be work to do….

Please carefully consider the above introduction to this question, and then respond to the following questions.

a) Please name as many engines of economic stability and methods of economic conversion as you can which you believe would result in communities that

minimize resource requirements
maintain ecological sustainability
maintain a high level of compassion for fellow human beings

and which represent what a significant majority of community residents surveyed would describe as a high quality of life.

b) Please check the box below which best corresponds to your view of the following statement:

“It is possible to create, support, and sustain communities which can minimize resource requirements, maintain ecological sustainability, maintain a high level of compassion for fellow human beings— and which represent what a significant majority of community residents surveyed would describe as a high quality of life.”

__ I believe it—and there is much evidence to support it

__ I believe it—and there is sufficient evidence to support it

__ I would like to believe it, but there isn’t enough evidence to support it

__ It is difficult to believe it, with the way things are going now

__ I don’t believe it—there is no evidence to support it

(#8) Arriving at Working Definitions of “Right Livelihood”

Consider what ways of earning a living you would identify as “right livelihood.”

Now imagine a local community resource guide relating to employment, apprenticeships, training, and volunteer opportunities associated with “right livelihood.”

And further: imagine a committee commissioned to produce such a “right livelihood” resource guide…. And the individuals who make up the committee commissioned to produce such a resource guide….

a) What background (qualifications, experiences, etc.) would you like such individuals to have?

b) What local institutions would you consider most appropriate to commission such a resource guide, and oversee its production?

(#9) Identifying Experienced Practitioners, Stakeholders, and People Needing Assistance

Consider the assessment of the most difficult challenges of our times which you created as a response to question #6 part a) (see above).

a) Who are the Experienced Practitioners, who are most qualified to be educating people on how to successfully overcome each of the challenges you identified?

(Special Notes: Please be specific, as in times of emergency, it will be most important for leaders to understand which people are perceived as most qualified by the majority of the residents in a particular community. Also, please be straightforward and honest: if you do not know who would be most qualified to respond, please respond accordingly.)

b) Who are the Stakeholders (the people who will be affected by the education provided and guidance given by the Experienced Practitioners)?

c) Who are the People Needing Assistance (the people who do not know how to respond to the challenges you identified)?

(#14) Proactive Measures to Encourage Constructive Activity during Community Visioning Initiatives

Consider the following commentary on preparation for carrying out a Community Visioning Initiative….

[Note: Readers who need more information about what a Community Visioning Initiative is can refer to “The IPCR Initiative: Executive Summary 2010” Section V. (which is titled “Community Visioning Initiatives for the Duration of the Emergency”)]

People who are doing preliminary planning for carrying out a Community Visioning Initiative should be aware that there may be people in the community who—regardless of the difficulties and urgencies associated with resolving multiple crises—choose to focus their attention of trying to make money by preying of people’s fears, manipulating people’s trust, and/or encouraging people to abandon hope in higher aspirations, and indulge in unhealthy, or immoral behavior. Such behavior is clearly counterproductive to the building of caring communities; it can be very dangerous for community morale, and it can become a crippling obstacle in times of crises. Responsible people will take sufficient preventative measures to proactively encourage a high percentage of constructive thinking and constructive action in their community.

The question: please list at least 5 preventative measures which you believe would proactively encourage a high percentage of constructive thinking and constructive action during the carrying out of a Community Visioning Initiative in your community.

(#23) Seeking Information About Our Moral Compasses

For the question below, please check the box (or boxes) which best corresponds to the way you view the following statements:

New) “Cultures” of violence, greed, corruption, and overindulgence:

a) have become so common that many of us accept such as inevitable
b) are a significant part of the current crises of confidence in financial markets
and c) are in many ways slowing the restructuring of investment priorities needed to respond to an increasing number of other critical challenges.

__ agree

__ agree in some ways

__ have different view—or different way of understanding our present circumstances

__ disagree in some ways

__ disagree

Your different view, or different way of understanding our present circumstances: _____________________________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

b) “We are at a critical point in the evolution of spiritual understanding.”

__ I believe it—and there is much evidence to support it

__ I believe it—and there is sufficient evidence to support it

__ I would like to believe it, but there isn’t enough evidence to support it

__ It is difficult to believe it, with the way things are going now

__ I don’t believe it—there is no evidence to support it

__ agree

__ agree in some ways

__ have different view—or different way of understanding our present circumstances

__ disagree in some ways

__ disagree

Your different view, or different way of understanding our present circumstances: _____________________________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

d) “Most people making efforts to realize their spiritual potential need to live in caring communities, so
that they can find support from association with kindred spirits.”

__ agree

__ agree in some ways

__ have different view—or different way of understanding our present circumstances

__ disagree in some ways

__ disagree

Your different view, or different way of understanding our present circumstances: _____________________________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

g) “The most advanced societies are the ones which are successful at integrating spiritual wisdom into the everyday circumstances of community life.”

__ I believe it—and there is much evidence to support it

__ I believe it—and there is sufficient evidence to support it

__ I would like to believe it, but there isn’t enough evidence to support it

__ It is difficult to believe it, with the way things are going now

__ I don’t believe it—there is no evidence to support it

__ agree

__ agree in some ways

__ have different view—or different way of understanding our present circumstances

__ disagree in some ways

__ disagree

Your different view, or different way of understanding our present circumstances: _____________________________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

(#24) Global Drugs Trade, Global Arms Trade—and Solutions?

Consider the following excerpt from the “World Report of Violence and Health: Summary (Recommendations for Action)” (by the World Health Organization, 2002):

“The global drugs trade and the global arms trade are integral to violence in both developing and industrialized countries. Even modest progress on either front will contribute to reducing the amount and degree of violence suffered by millions of people. To date, however—and despite their high profile in the world arena—no solutions seem to be in sight for these problems.”

a) Do you believe there are “solutions in sight” for the above mentioned problems, or do you agree with the authors at the World Health Organization? If you believe there are “solutions in sight”, please be specific and describe such solutions. Or, if you agree that “no solutions seem to be in sight”, offer your view on as to why we seem to be at a point where “no solutions seem to be in sight” for those problems.

b) Please check the box (or boxes) which best corresponds to the way you view of the following statement.

How much daily contact with the treasured wisdom of religious, spiritual, and moral traditions do you feel people in general would need before we would see noticeable progress on the above mentioned problems (the global drugs trade and the global arms trade)?

__ more than is likely to happen

__ a profound increase from current levels

__ a lot more

__ a little more

__ additional solutions will be essential to make noticeable progress (X)

__ have different view—or different understanding of our present circumstances (Y)

c) If you checked boxes X and/or Y, please describe below any solutions to the above two problems (drugs trade and arms trade) which you feel would be helpful contributions to making noticeable progress on resolving these problems.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

(#32) Identifying the Most Important Elements of Community Life and Cultural Traditions

In the best of times, even the most profound challenges can be overcome; for in the best of times,
____________________ is/are nurtured, supported, and sustained by family, teachers, mentors,
elders, and the everyday influences of community life and cultural traditions.

Please “brainstorm” on the subject of what would best fill in the blank in the above statement. Then choose 5-10 items from the “brainstormed list”, and rank them according to most important, and next most important, using 1 as most important, 2 as next most important, and so on.

(#34) If Only There Was a Way….

Please complete the following sentence in as many ways as you believe may help others who will read your responses:

If only there was a way to ______________________________.

Concluding Comments

I hope readers have found this questionnaire helpful in some way. I invite and welcome discussion on the creation of useful questions, invite and welcome additions to these questions, and invite and encourage responses to the above examples.

With Kind Regards,

Stefan Pasti, Founder and Outreach Coordinator
The Interfaith Peacebuilding and Community Revitalization (IPCR) Initiative

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