It’s All About the Change

The next installment in “Magic in the Mundane” will be posted shortly. Meanwhile, I couldn’t let this opportunity pass.

Ali Hale wrote a piece on The Change Blog recently about the difference between growth and change. Which makes for an interesting discussion of semantic differences, but what it triggered for me was how far things have come in the past several decades.

The coolest thing about change is that we are in the midst of a paradigm shift that makes it possible for significant numbers of people to change. I’ve written about this before, but it bears repeating.

In the past, change was a matter of “one-offs” – strong individuals who defied conventional wisdom and changed. St. Francis of Assisi and Henry David Thoreau come to mind, the former because I just read something about him. The latter because, like every other school kid, I had to read “Walden” and was surprised to find that once I got into it I liked it.

While folks like St. Francis and Thoreau have made contributions to the world, they didn’t generate a groundswell of change. There wasn’t sufficient critical mass to change mainstream thinking, which was — and still is — grounded in fear and negativity.

But now there are numerous modalities for change and highly visible leaders who have taken the mystery out of change and made it desirable, even when it doesn’t always seem safe.

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Magic in the Mundane, part 2

This is the second part of a blog that begins with the preceding post, titled ‘Magic in the Mundane.’

The vision of Thich Nhat Hanh came to me on a Monday morning, and it may have been a day or two later when I was talking with a friend that reality began to shift.

I told Claire Watson Garcia, an artist and high school classmate, about the vision. She had a friend who had a friend who was an attorney at Time Warner Cable.

Two phone calls later, I was in the office of a semi-retired attorney named Gabe Pearlman. The thrust of his advice was that I needed “a rabbi,” someone who could shepherd the project through the minefields of network television.

A few things are worth noting at this point, not the least of which is that less than week after having the vision I was already in touch with someone who knew the TV business well. Considering that I started at ground zero, that was a small miracle in and of itself.

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Magic in the Mundane

I got a message the other day that Thich Nhat Hanh, the Vietnamese monk, author and peace activist, was following me on Twitter. A day later, two of his followers signed up to follow me, and a day after that a third.

This was just a week after I’d joined Twitter, and I was still skeptical of its value. Mainstream media limit access to keep fools and amateurs from cheapening the product, and I wasn’t persuaded that social media had much value beyond connecting with old classmates.

Eventually I signed up to follow Atlanta Journal-Constitution sports columnist Jeff Schultz with whom I’d exchanged a few emails. But when Jeff started following me, I realized I could no longer get away with being a paperweight.

Whole Lotta Tweeting

A search to see what others write in their posts led to Thich Nhat Hanh’s Twitter page, and I decided to follow him. When he (or, more likely, someone in his organization) reciprocated, I figured that whoever responded was just being polite. I mean, TNH had 4188 followers and was following 3901 people. Even at 140 characters a person, that’s a lot of tweeting.

But our interaction reminded me of something that happened 15 years ago, something that occurred in a matter of seconds and yet  has shaped the trajectory of my life ever since. Something that speaks volumes about the magical possibilities in our everyday world.

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