Posts Tagged ‘passion’

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FROM PASSION TO INTOLERANCE?

May 25, 2010

I am so fortunate to be leading a team of talented event folks, as we develop an all-employee meeting designed as a re-launch for an energized new vision and mission for the sponsoring company. In the last two weeks, my creative partners and I have woven into the initial plans and budget a myriad of opportunities and environments that allow for every attendee to access stories that resonate with them individually. They will create their own experiences – experiences that allow them to support and commit to bringing that vision to fruition.

We are so excited to see our objective of “5000 events for 5000 people” slowly take shape before us.

Yesterday, I mentioned in a meeting with the client advisory team, that over the last decade I have moved from a student of changing adult learning models to an advocate, then a disciple, and now I find myself bordering on “born-again”. And although it is so exciting to me to see what I have learned on that journey come to fruition in this project, I also sense that I now am balanced on the precipice – like the evangelicals- on lack of tolerance for all those around me that have not “seen the light”. We all laughed and moved on to the matters at hand in the meeting.

But as I was driving away from their facility, it occurred to me that the conversation had more truth in it than I would like to admit. And the mind debate started: Which comes first? Can a personal passion become so all-encompassing that it blinds and deafens one to other approaches? And does intolerance emerge when you shut yourself off from the balance of input, discussion and approaches other than your own? Were the Evangelicals (or any other extremists) simply following an exploratory path fueled by their passion when they became high-jacked into a mind-set of self-righteousness and beliefs for which there is no pathway to compromise or collaboration? We see evidence of that all around us – in our state; in our country; and in our world. Has it also penetrated my own house?

How’s that for a scary thought? That on a passionate quest for better ways to teach and learn, I could be in danger of becoming a radical that is no longer open to change. And if, unchecked, that is a natural progression, how does one protect oneself from falling off that cliff?

In the short term at least, my event partners along with the client advisory and steering committees will be my safety-net; but in September, I certainly need to revisit this!