A word study from my seminary days seems more relevant today than ever. The assignment was to contrast two Greek words for time: chronos and kairos. Chronos refers to measurable time, clock or calendar time, hours, days, weeks, etcetera. Kairos measures the fullness of time, times that are opportune and prime for action and transformation. It is a unique time when the Universe aligns to provide insight and solutions to human suffering and alienation. Kairos can be personal times in an individual’s life, or it can be large systemic movements to elevate the human dignity and the intrinsic value of all people.
Black Lives Matter and COVID-19 are kairos moments. Both aligned to reveal how fragile, inadequate, unequal, and disjointed life is in America and globally. BLM is not just about police brutality, but also the unresolved and unaddressed issue of systemic racism and racial injustice that continues to negatively impact the health, well-being, and future of Black people. COVID necessitated social isolation, school closures, and canceled athletic seasons, which further compounded the crisis of well-being for America’s young people.
The number of children currently in need of mental health care has been on the rise for years. Depression, anxiety, poverty, affluence, food insecurity, and racism impact the well-being of our children and teens. The suicide rate in for America’s youth has been increasing over the last decade. While educators, coaches, and youth service providers where aware of this prior to the recent chaos, it should now be apparent to all Americans.
This kairos time demands new strategies, alliances, and models for all sport organizations and leaders to evaluate their role and responsibilities as part of a sport-based solution. Since collaboration allows for the pooling of ideas, experiences, and resources; working together provides the most viable response to the scope and level of complexity that diminishes and devalues America’s young people. Too often the traditional approach to creating change has been one group “owning” the project, controlling the process, and getting credit for the results. This typically creates an environment of exclusion. Since systems change is dependent on the catalytic action of a wide variety of partners for success, there must be a movement towards inclusion minimizing exclusion.
Lesson: You cannot create a movement; you can only prepare for one. The InSideOut Initiative has been prepared for this kairos moment. We are a catalytic, mobilizing, and service-oriented organization designed to train, partner, and collaborate with all community-based and education-based sports. Through our InSideOut Community of Practice, we have the scale and capacity to provide you and your league or organization with transformative trainings in-person, online, or through the modules we have developed.
If we can serve you contact firstname.lastname@example.org to join us in this kairos moment.