Question 64 of 365: How can we be for ourselves and for an entity at the same time?

Question 64 of 365: How can we be for ourselves and for an entity at the same time?

I have realized that an idea can’t grow if I don’t let it stand on its own. I have figured out that I cannot be the idea. If people are going to get behind it, it can’t be me they are getting behind.

And yet, I have been branding and rebranding myself for years. I have been writing for me. I have not been party to any party line. I have not been pushing something other than my own thoughts out into the world. In fact, I have been careful to not align myself too closely with something that isn’t me because I don’t want to be let down by what it becomes. And yet, there is a time to be for yourself and a time to be for an entity, an ideal. There is a time for placing yourself into a label and owning it.

Yet, the label must be something that I can change to mean what I want it to. It must be big enough to poke holes in and not collapse. It must be something that others will want to try on and become a part of. It must have a presence that interacts with real people and not as one idea to another. It must be ongoing and unique.

So, that is what I am trying to create now. I am trying to inhabit the Open Spokes presence and let the ideas flow through me to it. I am working toward creating actions that I set in motion but continue on without me.

And, it is freeing.

I can follow whomever I want on Twitter. I can write things that I would never write as an answer to a question. I can be as open to new opportunities as possible. I can obsess over things that I never have before. I am more than me. I am it… sometimes.

And that is strange and scary. I have never been able to be my employer because I have disagreed with my employer about many things. I have never been able to be classroom because my classroom wasn’t all that I wanted it to be. I have never been able to be a learning theory or a particular tool (even though I talk about connectivism and Google Apps on a regular basis) because they aren’t really mine. All of these things are what I use to make sense of the world, but they are not me.

I can only be what I give birth to. I can be an idea only if I can run alongside and hold on to it, like a bike without training wheels for the first time. Open Spokes is a child of mine. And, at some point I will let go and watch it roll down the street unaided. I will see where it goes and be proud of it for pumping its feet as fast as it can and finding balance against gravity.

Because we are all challenged by gravity. It is what makes us think that we have to speak on behalf of things we do not believe in. It is what makes us think that we cannot reinvent who we are and what we do. It is what will slow us down if we let it.

But, we can launch a lot of bikes down the street. We can birth many ideas. We can be more than we are. We can be for the things that will make a difference and not forget just what it means to have a personal identity. And that is nothing short of brilliant (The act I am describing, not the writing).


  1. Creation is beautiful. Yes, the pieces were there, but the Law of Conservation of Matter says the pieces for everything were always here, so I don't let that change the beauty of creation.
    When I was about 15, I read _The Prophet_ by Khalil Gibran for the first time. I remember how it made sense more than most other things I'd read up to that point. For the first time, a book didn't seem like it was talking to someone else. It didn't feel like Gibran was writing for me, but that he was welcoming me into the conversation. In one chapter, he write of parents and children. This post brought a piece of that to mind. In it, the Prophet tells the people of the village that they are like bows and their children like arrows. The parents can take aim and hope, but they can no more control their children than the archer can control the arrow after it's left the bow.

    Talking with you and listening to the passion you have for this creation, I have no doubt of the precise aim you are bringing to this new idea before launching it into the world. Thank you for sharing, even inadvertently, the energy you bring to this.

  2. I like the idea of inadvertent energy. I hope that I can be the right kind
    of bow for the idea. I hope that I can launch it far and that it will hit
    its mark without too much trepidation. I hope that I can be for it, what it
    has been for me: a force for incredible change and introspection.

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