With experience leading to far too many gray hairs, I have come to appreciate the depth certain words carry. I willingly admit that I did not think much of “positivity” when I was young. My standing excuse is one of youthful exuberance and excitement. It was an era where I was confident that I could do anything I set my mind on! No challenge was too great. Physically, I was willing to take on the impossible. Mentally, my confidence was sharp, untouched by the challenges and experiences which only come with time.
Knowing one gets to choose is a powerful gift. Kids love it, even as they choose things unlikely to be any parent’s first choice! As an adult, I still love it because it reminds me that I oversee my life. I have freedom. I choose. The right, even with obligations, is mine!
A friend often reminds me that each morning in his life arrives with a fresh choice to make. Will friends and relationships of yesterday, be his choice today? Will he honor past commitments with a new one? What will his choice be?
Yesterday I had to sit with my back to my doctor. I was getting a shot, it ended up being two, in my shoulder. Sitting backwards was the position I could take to give the doctor the best opportunity to do his job. It took a few tries, but I found my place.
The doctor wasn’t sure I was comfortable. As I think about it, sitting with my face to the wall, as if I was back in grade school detention, does not normally make anyone comfortable. Perhaps it was the comfort of reliving old memories, or simply the fact that once I closed my eyes, I did not sense the wall or anything else of notice in the room. Whatever the reason, I knew this place mattered and I was comfortable when I was there.
Even as I am participating and experiencing the formation of a new collective and vision, I find myself watching. The recurring question which still lingers is one of knowing. How will I know if we are staying true to the vision? How will I know if we share the heart of a collective vision? How will I know if I believe, passionately from my heart core outwards, in the collective?
The question of knowing is rarely answered visibly and publicly. As much as I want to embrace a decisioning framework, follow it from A to B, and reach the end of the process with assured intellectual confidence, this is not how these questions are resolved in my life.
I started a journey 18 months ago. At the center of my quest was a simple belief. If I could create an opportunity for others to help others, everything in the future would have the potential to be better than it is. Looking back, I see how the center of my intent has not changed. The vehicle and methods have evolved with dialogue, learning, and the contributions of others. The heart remains focused on the quest.
I know a decision point is coming. The quest for a big launch will reach an inflection point where launch happens. If it does not, then the quest and premises which anchored everything need to be examined with a fresh perspective.
Friends, a husband and wife, of more than two decades each lost their mother. The double whammy with just weeks between the first lost and the second hit them hard. My heart goes out to them as I think of my mom and the years since her passing. The void within every child left by a mother is always large, no matter what type of relationship one had with her over the years.
The question I asked myself then and now is the same; what comes next?
I knew my mother’s life was coming to an end for a long time. She was slowly losing her battle with dementia and Alzheimer’s. The battle had taken her confidence and at the end most of her smiles. It has impacted her health in a way that is often found by those who feel they have lost all contact with friends and family, leaving them totally alone in the world.
In our increasingly adversarial world, words matter. When words are carelessly tossed about, the likelihood we will see bad outcomes dramatically increases. As one matures, the responsibility in how one uses words increases.
In the echo chamber of those agreeing with us, it is hard to be objective. The affirmation of friends and believers often creates an unconscious bias of acceptance and comfort. After a cycle or two of bad outcomes, it is hard to see the message within; one’s discomfort with what followed often colors and shapes my view in ways that are difficult, almost impossible to erase.
The recent change in a big tech’s software data policy has been the most visible catalyst for individuals to start talking again about personal privacy. This is, for me at least, an old subject. In the past the level of invasiveness was potentially acceptable; the new reality has me questioning my continued use of several apps which have dominated my life for many years.
One of the challenges with the renewed awareness is the complexity we find ourselves in. It is hard to know, even if you want to, how much data you are sharing by using any mobile or desktop application. When the provider is open about how invasive the app will be, often as not, I go looking for another. Equally, when privacy is protected, I am a willing and vocal loyal customer.
As I look out from my desk, the reflections from two small lakes contrast with the villas, palms, and san in the distance. With one, there is a pedestrian walkway around the lake. At dawn, the only occupants are a few birds chasing for food where the grasp meets asphalt. With the coming sunrise, there is a natural slow build up of people walking with a few wheelchairs mixing themselves in. From a distance, I have yet to pick up a pattern of the walkers. I have not found any identifiable individuals who repeat at semi-fixed times each day.
It was an intense night of dreams. There were no demons at play. Instead of a dark nightmare, I was hard at work! The ideas embedded in Orora were in full bloom. Intense dialogue which morphed into passionate and committed action. Every piece was leading to a shared belief in our cause. It was an amazing night of sleep.
I woke to a warning that we must be patient in letting things improve gradually. Words like discipline and common sense took me back to a place where yesterday’s answers were the only foundation we could build on.