Articles‎ > ‎

Takami-sensei Featured in Fuller Focus: "Leading Together: A Grassroots Approach"

posted May 3, 2012, 11:28 AM by Craig D. Rice

Takami-sensei Featured in Fuller Focus: "Leading Together: A Grassroots Approach"

ARI founder Takami-sensei was featured in the Fall, 2008 issue of Fuller Focus in an article called Leading Together: A Grassroots Approach.

Excerpt of the article:

“At ARI we live and work together, producing food from the good earth to support ourselves,” says Takami. “For we know by experience that unless we become self-supporting, in staple foodstuffs at least, it is practically impossible for us to gain selfhood or independence.” This, to Takami, is “foodlife work.” About 80 percent of the food consumed by ARI participants is produced right there on ARI’s 15-acre organic farm. And it means that everyone gets their hands dirty.


This approach does not come easily: “ARI is a very hard community to live in,” Takami says bluntly. “Each day we go through the difficult process of making corporate decisions—as consensus, not compromise. Each person—man or woman, young or old, rich or poor, strong or weak—has equal right and responsibility to participate. We know ‘people’s participation in human development’ is an indispensable key to realizing justice and peace. But this is easy to say and difficult to practice.”

The mutual learning that ultimately flows from this process, however, carries immeasurable value. Steven Cutting, ARI’s ecumenical relations director, says that a typical group discussion at ARI is often peppered with the phrase “In my country . . .” as participants bring their own experiences to bear in solving a problem. Initially highlighting how things are done differently in his or her country, the speaker often begins to see similarities.


posted by Craig D. Rice @ Saturday, November 22, 2008 - 11:24 AM