I belong here.
Not here on WordPress, or in this room, or any other specific location. I belong here on earth.
For some, that seems like a statement of the obvious. I mean, I was born. Here on earth. So I must belong here. How is that questionable?
For others, rather than being a statement of the obvious, it will seem like bold and shameless bragging. Or just a foreign language. That would have been me, not all that long ago. Allow me to explain.
For many years, I was convinced that I was materially different; that I wasn’t like the others. Furthermore, I was convinced this was something that had to be excused, at least until it could be changed. Someday, I would learn The Secret that everybody else knew, and then I would be okay. I would belong! Because I could not be materially different. That would be unacceptable.
Then came years of therapy, recovery, prayer and meditation. And along the way, I toyed with the very radical idea that I did not need to be changed, because I AM like all the others. Essentially, we are all a collection of fears and insecurities and anxiety, running around in different packaging. And that means I am not materially different from you. Sure, I needed to change that I was fearful, insecure and anxious, but I didn’t have to worry about you because you had the same stuff. We were all on a mission to overcome those things together, and when we do, we will drop the baggage and be free to love one another, all the while singing Kumbaya.
Turns out, that was wrong, too. As luck would have it, I AM materially different from you. Among the most obvious differences, boys have pee pees and girls have hoo has. Some of us are pink while others are brown. I am an old, fat, bald guy, but many of you reading this are not.
Oh, I can hear you already. “That is just the different packaging you mentioned above.” Fair enough. But the truth is, we all have our essence. Some of us are bold, others fearful. Some are kind, others are miserly. Some of us are optimists while others are certain only of impending doom. Those things are so much more than packaging. And we are all a unique blend of these essential qualities. No two alike. Every single one of us has a purpose, a reason for being here. And it seems that our essential qualities leave us uniquely qualified to execute our destinies. I believe that we all have a destiny to fulfil, a contribution to the greater whole which must be made in order for the greater whole to function.
I remember once speaking with a friend, mentor and guide. He said he felt I was bi-vocational, that I was called on to work with buildings AND to work for the social good. Today I believe he was absolutely correct. It turns out that I alone am uniquely qualified to carry out my mission in life. And it is equally true that my mission in life is essential to the future of the world. I am not just materially different; I am the only one capable of carrying out my special purpose. You cannot do it in my place, and if I fail to carry it out, there is a lot of progress that cannot come about without me. My contribution is essential, unique and incapable of being executed by another.
But I am also beginning to see that sometimes I cannot do it alone. I spent much of my life avoiding contact with people. I feared many things, but mainly I didn’t like being around others because other people were yardsticks and I always felt I came up short. But eventually I became confident enough in my belief that none of us measured up, so I didn’t need to compare myself to others so much. I started to relax, and came to discover that I could actually enjoy people for who they are and the joy they bring to my life. And as a result, my life has expanded, along with the joy that those people bring to me. And I have begun to lead an insanely rich life, filled with quality people and incredible moments.
But that is no longer enough. I don’t only need you as companions, but apparently I am destined to work cooperatively with some of you to put forth work that neither of us could do alone. And some of that will apparently be in the written form. I am planning a couple of joint writing ventures at this time, and am starting to believe that the impact of what I am called upon to make in this world is much larger than I ever imagined.
And so I will continue putting one foot in front of the other. Continue doing the Next Right Thing. And the people I meet along the will now be viewed not just as companions but as collaborators. Thanks everyone, and I look forward to working with you.