The opposite of presence is absence.
For whatever reason, we’ve absented ourselves from what is happening – we don’t even have to be in another country, we can be in the same room.
As the great Human conversation moves forward, and it’s our turn to be a part of it, we have the opportunity to be present like never before.
Absenteeism is greater too.
The internet is a good example: we can find one another and connect towards creating something incredible, or we can use the same means to troll and destroy, we can change the world with good or we can produce more hatred. (My journey to date began in earnest because I could email someone I’d never met with a question about how the future would emerge. His reply – received in no time at all – has remained with me ever since: ‘It will come through the people who MUST.’)
We have an opportunity to speak up and to act up.
‘The internet has given anyone with something to say the freedom to say it. It has given us the freedom to connect, the freedom to be generous, and the freedom to make a difference. And we (all of us) refuse to use this freedom to the fullest, because we can’t bear to live with that internal narrative it would create – the narrative of responsibility and risk and failure.’*
We like the first part of this but not the second part. So we begin to compromise and, through the compromises, we absent ourselves.
When we turn up, when we produce our art – the thing we must do – the future comes faster, through the courage of presence. We don’t have to be like anyone else – indeed, it is desirable we are not. We need to know this. Having drawn up our categories and made our lists and created our awards for this and that and the other achievement, reality is, we need your passionate creativity:
‘The leap into the space is a form of love.’*
(*From Seth Godin’s ‘It’s Your Turn’. This morning, a group of ten or so will be meeting for more than a book group with Godin’s book. We’ll be exploring what we do now we realise it’s our turn.)
(The cartoon will build up through the day; you’re welcome to be creative with lines and circles and squares, and to suggest a thought for the second caption box. Have fun.)