themselves and these times of discord, doubt and discontent are an excellent lever to set this transformation in process.
Now I’m gonna go all hippie-dippy on you. Before you turn the page, let me tell you something - these guys had more going on than drugs. Some of them had a drug of spirit that said by turning away from the world one is able to embrace it. This isn’t a new concept – it’s been whispered down through the ages, audible to the few who could decipher it in the din.
Anthony de Mello, SJ, wrote, in the mid part of the 20th century:
“How shall I help the world?"
"By understanding it," said the Master.
"And how shall I understand it?"
"By turning away from it."
"How then shall I serve humanity?"
"By understanding yourself."
A belief system like that got Father Mello, a Jesuit priest, into hot water with the Catholic Church. (It’s not the only or first time a Jesuit found himself in hot water with the Catholic Church - that’s a whole other topic.) But the establishment’s resistance to a thought process that evolved into a free-thinking approach to what it means to be human and pathways to understanding that are outside the norm of convention is not an uncommon response to an individual seeking serenity.
Sometimes circumstances present themselves in such a way that at first they feel like impediments – like roadblocks in our journey. Instead, if we turn the thing on its head and look at it from new angles, we can see that we’re being presented with chances, openings, breaks – a chance to change, an opening to advance, a break to take a breath, capture our thoughts and then act.
The “unknowing” aspect of this experience is rich with possibility. Heather Bussing, one of our more disciplined and formidable minds here on RBC, pointed us to a little ditty rich with meaning in her recent post, “Not Knowing is Sometimes Exactly The Right Place to Start.”
There are some of us who will “awake” during these times. And there are some who will keep on dozing, their time not yet come. As an exercise towards “awakening” I thought it might be fun to list the things we all wanted to be when we grew up. Don’t be afraid to sound silly - I’ll go first.
A princess (who wouldn’t?)
A skin doctor (always fascinated by morbidity)
A treasure hunter (I sorta’ am one, aren't I?)
How ‘bout you?…
ge parties, for astute persons such as Dennis to (with no fear of an iron fist falling on him) state that a "sugar-diet" RBC will stifle the community instead of build it up, for Barbara to expand our minds through drawing correlations to motherhood, etc. The lack of boundaries that enables all of us to inject our thoughts and experiences is what enables growth - I laugh, smile, sometimes smirk, reel . . . but that's the value :) It's not always the initial generation of the discussion - it's the iteration and piling of new spices and ingredients into the pot that provide for entertainment and in many cases, enlightenment.
A truism is that we listen to one another's thoughts and ideas, and based on our reality and existentialism, we adopt or reject them (normally a hybrid of the two). I think John has some really good ideas and thoughts . . . and some not so good ones. So did Aristotle. So did Isaac Newton. So did Galileo. So did Einstein. Frankly, so do all of us. I think some of the "Digging into RBC" is shaped by his own personal experiences and realities . . . which may or may not hold value to the rest of us. It's all relative. In a world more charactized by quantum mechanics and true interconnectedness, John's "digging" is nothing more than him presenting the reality of posts and discussions as he sees them. Perhaps some agree with his analogies; perhaps some see levels of "spin"; perhaps some log in and reach each and every "digging" . . . and perhaps some don't even bother. That's the intersection of community with individual choice.
There are no Temple Priests or Templar Knights, and if we think that a social network is a place to recreate the absolute power of the Catholic Church during centuries past, it's my contention that we're missing the boat. When I say that, I am suggesting that we recognize that there is a beauty in science - and if we learn anything from the great minds that have come before us, let's keep in mind that boundaries are constraints, and some are meaningless. This is as true in politics as it is a social network . . . as it is a calculus equation.
In fact, in my own tiny mind, SourceCon 2008 was a watershed conference in our space. Why? Because much of the content presented stood in stark contrast to the 'thought leadership' leveraged from times past, such as our industrialization era. Steve Jobs was more present in spirit than Henry Ford. Discussions were a quantum leap from other conferences I've been to in the past . . . and to echo a previous point, this wasn't due to the initial presentations/sessions all the time. What I overheard were people brainstorming and discussing new notions; notions that represent the inverse of groupthink. The result? Opportunities to progress and overcome mental plateaus (see the Finance function in the late 1960s' and Marketing in the late 1990s').
It's a fun time to be in our space as the old guard collides with the new as we witness the passing of sacred cows. A consilience is at hand if you slow down enough to not blindly accept each whitepaper as truth and actually smell the flowers and breathe the air around you. I'm happy to be here today, but that's also probably a manifestation of my own existentialism and way of looking at the world (which may or may not hold any value to the reader) :P…