I was happy to scribble notes in my little book this past week during two public programs. Lovely phrases, good reminders.
Thursday night at "Ties That Bind: The First 10 Years of StoryCorps," the founder of that public radio phenomenon, Dave Isay, reflected on the amazing acts of grace, kindness and forgiveness that have been revealed in the stories people have shared. In contrast to the portrait of humanity that frequently comes through in the news, entertainment media or political sphere, he pointed to the way these everyday people are making their own unique paths through life -- and said it's all happening "in plain sight." I love that emphasis, the reminder that if we turn off the white noise that is targeted at, aggregated for and delivered to us, and actually look at the people around us, we will see bold, generous choices.
Friday morning, we rose early for the Los Angeles edition of Creative Mornings (60 cities in 20 countries participating this month!) -- thrilled to be greeted with donuts + multiple coffee options from Stumptown Coffee Roasters: nice and hot, with fixin's; or cold pressed in a stylish bottle. Thank you, generous morning conveners of Angelenos! Anyhow -- the theme of the month was "bravery," and guest speaker Jim Gilliam (co-founder of Brave New Films, now founder and CEO of NationBuilder) talked about having the courage of your convictions to step out and create something new. I especially liked his response to a question about facing "gate keepers" or hitting a wall: create a solution that makes the current scenario or system obsolete. I appreciate the reminder to keep pushing up and out to meet your larger goal -- expand your vision, change your perspective, whatever is necessary. For me, it's a question of strategy in my daily work; but he is also speaking about the larger question of effecting social change. The quote he referenced offers fuel for weeks and months to come:
"You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete." ― Richard Buckminster Fuller