Recently, I participated in a men's weekend. The days represented activities that felt like how nerds think jocks relax - imaginative takes on popular sports, such as a mashup of tennis and volleyball, and a living version of something akin to Stratego. The evenings are long dinners with deep discourse and vats of wine, as professionals from all walks of life exploring issues that claw deeply.
Part of the prep for this year's conclave: come ready to discuss "this I believe." The idea is drawn from the old National Public Radio series, revived with great contributions - http://www.npr.org/series/4538138/this-i-believe is the link. (One favorite is Penn Gillette's, who defies the guidelines (avoid saying what you do not believe) by providing an essay one why he believes there is no God.)
I am not at liberty to share any that I heard that evening, but wanted to share mine below. Whether you agree with my thoughts, what do you believe?
I believe we are living in extraordinary, precedented times. Yes, you heard that correctly - precedented. I believe we are on the precipice of a new Renaissance. I believe we are once again struggling beneath the strictures and structures of ideology triumphing over natural order and science. I believe we are about to rise above our 18th century understanding of education and 19th century pretensions about work. We are beginning to realize that mechanistic process and notions of corporate loyalty are a mirage, just another layer in our constructed reality.
We know the butterfly sees colors we cannot imagine. This means the world holds those colors, the spectrum we know is bound by what we can see. Likewise, our understanding of human events is bound by what we are told. But in times of disruption, the natural order of things prevails upon us for brief periods of illumination. We are social, we are a collaborative. We are moved to love. We yearn for experimentation, we adjust. The organizational norms we were told were necessary for commerce and success are a layer we now question, with good reason.
I believe I am here to claw, to tear, at these notions. My greatest joy lies in seeing scales fall from eyes. I believe the sobering times around us are precedented, and a return to first principles, our natural order, provides the path to greater peace and civilization.