Did I? His recent, almost as brief as the quote above email, out of the blue, said so.
When we first met, here in front of the White House, I was on hunger
strike, and round the clock "occupation" of the bit of grass I was
seated on - for Darfur. He was a college student, traveling through DC.
We spoke for hours, about life and what it means to Live. He gave me
a cap inscribed with a deeply meaningful phrase - that tragically I've
forgotten. I gave him a book I treasured - and I don't remember which
He told me of Ubuntu - an African word and I think he defined it for
me as - "I am who I am because you are who you are."
This was maybe 3 years ago. If I recall correctly, he came back
through DC about a year later, with a female friend in tow.
Not long ago I got an email, pretty much this brief -
"Start, you totally transformed my life. How can I ever thank you?" Michael
My professional life's work, for which I was paid shamefully much,
required that I be a powerful agent of change. There is much
concrete evidence that I was. My point? I have a frame of reference
to judge that yes, if I didn't change Michael, and he says that I did,
I KNOW that I've changed one, or two, or more these last four or five
years in DC. Is that enough? It is the best I can do so far. So, it is
"enough" for me, so far, it seems. God knows why.
MY REAL POINT - in this most toxic of all cultures ever, the best we
can do if we totally, totally, totally devote every waking second to
bringing positive change within ourselves and others - the best we
may achieve is helping one or two. And we've got to be OK with
that. Further, we've got to ACCEPT, we've got to EMBRACE that
most of our brothers and sisters are so clinically dead - brain and
heart - that we've got to let them go, for now - conserving our energy and
PREPARING FOR the rare, chance encounter with the rare individual
with enough Heart and Mind left in tact that we can do some open
heart surgery and help them Thrive - and Serve! This is OUR reality
today. This was JESUS reality 2000 years ago! "No one comes
to me except that the Father brings him." 'I can't control who and when!'
Start, "let them go?!?!!??!" We've got to get / spark / inspire / Raise...
help before we can help the masses who are so desperately damaged
by their upbringing in this dreadful, hateful, sick culture.
Now, you will blow me off here (still reading?) but one of the 10 most
important books to read is "Crossing the Chasm
." Trust me. But
Start, you idiot, this is regarding success in the high tech industry.
TRUST ME. If you wish to bring radical change, YOU MUST READ THIS
BOOK, and understand, and apply. It will protect you, inform you,
enlighten you, focus you, leverage you.
FIRES START SMALL, AND GROW AT THEIR OWN PACE, OR
THEY GO OUT! For now, until you read it, THAT is the point.
AND at the Start, they require dry wood available of the right size and dryness.
In the meantime, when such "wood" (Michael?) is not available, we
need to prepare to burn bright and sure, if and when when it appears
in front of us.
I know little about them, but frequently life brings to my mind the
monks who would go and live in caves or the desert. I think some of
them didn't go there to retreat or hide. I think they went there so
that they could be seen and found by the oh so few with in tact Hearts
and Minds - and light FIRE(S) when the rare, dry wood came to them.
That is how my life feels to me.