[Video to come]
I found myself more present at Educon than I have been in months. I sat and talked to people and looked them in the eye and felt an underlying purpose for the connections I was making. I felt this last year, but I had all of this disjointed connectedness (twitter hashtag following, e-mail checking, blog posting, etc.) that distracted me from simply being held in a given time and space and letting that be enough. This year, I was able to sit with the people that I love and listen and think and wait for something to occur the I couldn’t predict at the outset of the day.
Perhaps I was just too egotistical to believe there was anything more I could learn from a face to face community that is random than the network of people that I had hand picked to follow on twitter. I am now engaged in the act of belief.
I believe more passionately and irrationally in the power of seeing someone, truly seeing them for all of the hope they have and all of the baggage that they carry. I have faith in the fact that something fantastic will occur if I do not allow my distractions to get in the way of my real purpose for having the conversation in the first place.
I find myself asking if this is something I can replicate away from these people and this place. Can I really wrap myself in the glow of intense thought, passionate observation, and authentic speech?
I heard it last night from Chris Lehmann. Someone that he trusts once told him to never stop talking. Whatever he did, never stop thinking through the things he knows to be true and being a community of people who want to talk about those things and make them materialize. Another mentor of mine once said that “talking is the act of deciding your future.” Once you have said it, it comes into being.
So, to be present is to be talking. Not just with your mouth, but with your ears and your intention. Talking requires the will to be with someone and show them that you want to help them create the future.
And if you aren’t saying anything, then I have no use for you. If you aren’t someone who is really willing to “talk with me,” let me know that and I will find someone who will. I will be present in talking with anyone. There is something beautiful and perfect about talking with someone who will really talk back and push you and challenge you to create the future with them. I am here to do this, and I will never leave.
The digital connectedness should lead us to these moments. If we never have them because our technology gets in the way, then we are further away from one another and not closer together. If the technology keeps us from this kind of “talking”, it is a falsehood that I can’t afford. If I am truly searching for the truth of these questions, we need to talk more and tweet less.