This last Wednesday I had the privilege of speaking at Ignite London. Ignite is a series of talks presented by people from the community with ideas about which they are passionate. The format of the talks is simple. Five minutes and twenty slides auto advanced every fifteen seconds to make your point. The format is straight forward but the work in getting there, well not so simple.
My talk was about the power of community to use social media and the web to share ideas but how there is trouble translating this to a focused local effort in London.
The reason it was hard to get to the point where I could make that presentation wasn’t because of the writing or the slides but in the experiences I had to have and the work I had to put in order to get to the point where I could write it. This is true for anyone who cares passionately about something and the drive that builds within them to share that passion with the people around them. My passion is for community.
For me it has been a strange journey from the privilege of creating and teaching art to personal and family struggles to advocacy to work in a non-profit to friendships developed along the way to my latest job as an executive director and my work with a group of citizens eager to change the world. All those experiences culminated in a five minute presentation to a group of people who mostly did not who I was or how my journey led me to that moment and how that has culminating in this writing.
The reason I am sharing this with you is that I want you to imagine the billions of other journeys that have led or will lead to similar moments around the world. A farmer in India or an engineer in Israel or a teacher in Kenya or a mother in the Ukraine or a nurse in Turkey or a homeless person in Arizona. All of these people have had a series of moments that led them to the moments of culmination in which something has happened. Something small and human or something monumental and world-changing and every one of those paths are connected to our own in some small or large way. That is miraculous. That all of these lives on this tiny blue orb in this vast universe continue to cross each others paths and culminate in moments that we all have in common.
I am comforted by that. Comforted by the knowledge that there are billions of others on a journey that has common cause with mine. The common cause of life that I can share and help or be helped on my journey through life . We have opportunities to offer and receive that is the result of the culmination of our experiences that lead us to that moment. That moment of connection.That moment of sharing our story. That moment of comfort.
Think of that as you go about your day. Your life culminates continuously in the opportunity to share your story and to offer and receive comfort from your fellow human beings. I live in a world of wonder and woe but am grateful to be sharing that with all of you. Am grateful to be able to offer and receive.