Stuart Jamiesonby Stuart Barnes Jamieson

A year ago, as I was contemplating a change in my life and my career, I happened to hear this joke on a Sunday morning NPR story. It has become for me more than a joke. It has become a parable and fable with a powerful insight:

A man climbs up a ladder to do some work on his house, falls off, and hurts himself.

His friends rush to him and ask what they can do.

“Can we take you to the emergency room?”

“No.” the man replies.

“Can we bring you a doctor?”


“Can we bring you a nurse or an ambulance?”


“Can we bring you a chiropractor?”


“A natural healer?”


“Well, what CAN we bring you?”

“Bring me someone else who has fallen off a ladder!”

When I first heard this, I found it thought-provoking, and a challenge to my professional philosophy to date. I thought: “You know this guy has a point! How often do we who try to help want to bring in someone from outside who probably has no experience with falling off a ladder?” I would have to admit, that if it were me, the help and support of someone who shares my experience of falling off a ladder would be uniquely helpful.

Shortly after hearing this, I decided to complete my fourteen years of service with a large non-profit in search of something different in my life. This search led me to a workshop where Dominica McBride and Revolution MacInnes from Become, Inc. were presenting. I liked what I heard, and now, one year later, I am extremely proud to be working with Become, Inc as a Leadership Development Specialist.

Become’s philosophy – as outlined in our premier blog post — is that “the answers to our most pressing challenges are within the people”. Like the man who fell off a ladder in this fable, we at Become understand that nobody knows the struggles and challenges of another better than the one who is experiencing or has experienced the very same thing.

Many of our economically-challenged neighborhoods and communities today are over-saturated with well-meaning outsiders asking “What can we bring you?” and “How can we heal you?” when, in fact, all that these communities really need is each other. At Become we believe that all the resources any community needs to survive are already in the midst of the people. All we need is the opportunity to come together as a community and make good use of the many important assets already there.

Bringing the community together to claim its already-existing assets is at the heart of Become’s comprehensive, community-based evaluation practice, and all that we do in leadership development and strategic planning for community organizations and faith communities.

No one knows your community and the challenges it faces better than you do. We at Become would be honored to partner with you to help bring your organization or community to its fullest potential.

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