“The time is now! We must act now! We are responsible to initiate, foster and develop the required paths to change, now!” This was my ‘purpose-based’ summation of my personal synthesis following a strategy group session focused on the future of Pinchot University. The session was brilliantly designed and facilitated by UJ and his team from the Blue Earth Network. My thoughts were influenced by a collective of people who all think very uniquely but who bring a shared interest in making the world of business and the world generally, better.
As I parked and walked in the Seattle Pioneer Square morning sun to begin day two of this second session, I was thinking about little. The little that was on my mind included a bit of concern about how I was going to ‘catch up’ after being in day-long sessions that were ‘volunteer’ in nature. Catch up with my obligations to business, house and other .
“Good morning” said the kind-faced black man in a quiet voice as he crossed South Washington Street. I was waiting to cross Second Avenue to join the group at the 220&Change building. I said “Good morning.” “That is a very nice shirt and you have have your dress shoes packed in your bag I see. You are holding on to things. Have you read Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now?” “What?” Quickly processing what his quiet voice had asked. “Oh yes, I have. But maybe it is time I read it again?!” The walk light had already signaled and I scurried across the street.
I realized within the next hour of the likely non-coincidental connection of this kind man’s comments and my purpose-based discoveries from the day prior.
In an earlier 2-day session Sheri in our group had shared that in order to show more love, we have to be able to engage with humanity, to hug the homeless. That really made me think about how we draw invisible lines based on what we have or what others do not have. We form a class system. Keerat and I have supported homelessness, mental illness and related efforts for many years. However, we have supported the programs, in hopes and belief they support the individuals. Why not support the individuals directly? Why not engage in human-based and equal interaction of communication and sharing?
During this same period of time in Summer, Keerat attended an engagement hosted by the INSP (International Network of Street Papers.) Rex Holbein spoke about turning his shed into a workspace for a homeless man who liked to paint. And how that individual is now selling his art through Facebook. We carry high quality granola or protein bars with us and whenever we engage or are engaged by a homeless individual, we say hello, we smile, we offer one of our bars. Sometimes they are unhappy with this option. Most times they are gracious and say thank you. Mostly we are more aware of our opportunity to interact with another human. Humanly. On one busy street corner on a Friday, I received a hug just for saying hello and offering a smile.
I think I’ll read The Power of Now now. Maybe if we can slowly create greater mindfulness in our walking about the community, we will have more connections, more meaning in our lives and more non-coincidences.
November 1, 2009 – blog post in my draft folder
This Summer I read A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle. In starting the book I had to realize that I live little of my life truly present in the each and every moment. That I have spent my life, which is likely at it’s half-way point, analyzing the past, and obsessing about the future.