Looking Out


Sometime we are so enmeshed with ourselves and the small space around us that we fail to notice the broader weave of the world beyond us. We don’t lift our heads high enough above the crowd, often enough,for long enough, to see where we are and whats going on around us. This isn’t just about myopia, but about our sometimes inward looking disposition. Even the tools we use predispose us to this. Twitter, a favorite of mine, while on the surface is about broadcasting out, could in fact be seen as broadcasting in. It becomes the means to say “hey here I am, I’m someone too, you should pay attention to me, don’t ignore me.” I think there’s some truth to this.

I recently heard to a famous newscaster say that Twitter, Facebook, etc, are really mini press conferences. Even this blog is really a means to share, beyond my small circle, what I am thinking about and why. It is as much a press conference as the network news shows.

It is in these broadcasts that I have seen a trend for inclusion and exclusion. As soon as you are able to share something it gives you status depending on who responds or not. Everything from “I’m not feeling well”, to a frustration in the work place, become a measure of status depending on who ,and how many, respond. This creates a power differential that seems to be antithetical to the espoused ethos of these tools – to be open and inclusive. Many times I have seen some supported and seen their status lifted despite the fact they rarely support anything outside their own work or projects. I may be guilty of this too, in fact it’s very possible.

Then there is the enthusiastic supporting, in the most enthusiastic terms, of other peoples feelings, projects, work, or health. This, in and of itself ,is not a bad thing but there seems to be a frenetic build to this amongst the people I see on some of these networks. In many way I think this is natural given the times we live in. If everyone is supporting each other enthusiastically then we feel less alone, more inclused. Sometimes cooperation happens and some really lovely things happen as a result. But this is often exclusionary as well. It happens for some but not others. Again I am sure I am guilty of this more so than than the people I see doing this.

So why am I sharing this with you, here, in my mini press conference? I think it’s because I am feeling a need to look up and around as opposed to inward. Again, I am no better than anyone else ,and in fact often much worse, but I think it’s time for me to try to reach beyond myself and the space I occupy. I think it’s time for me to find ways to authentically support the people in my life and to also care enough to share my frustrations with those I am frustrated with. Not out of any superiority, as I certainly have little to feel superior about, but rather because it might help them to help me be a better person. I expect this will not be easy, nor will it be successful.

I am not a great man, a deep thinker, a community leader, but a minor player in a a larger community. My success in all things, in every aspect of my life, comes because those around me have lifted me a little.Have been brave enough to be honest with me. Have elevated me a small amount through their generosity, kindness, openness, and love. That’s how I am going to try to move forward. I might end up with a few black eyes and i am sure I’ll learn much more about my own failings, of which again there are many, but perhaps someone not included now will be included later and we’ll all be able to see a little further because of it.

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