The Responsibility of Privilege

Writer’s Note: I wrote this piece 60 days ago and due to travel chose not to publish it. This is still very much an open exploration and this piece feels less finished, perhaps because it’s more important, than much of my other writing. Given the personal development of the last 60 days, I have much more commentary on this topic. In the spirit of brevity, I made a few grammatical edits and am publishing as was composed then.

1 The Essence of Privilege

In regenerative practice, understanding essence is essential, particularly in the context of place like when discerning “what makes here, here?” What is the essence of Lansing, Michigan? How does it differ from Grand Rapids, Detroit, Dallas, and Sante Fe? What makes this place unique? What are its patterns? It is from essence that we are able to consider a system’s potential. By starting with essence we tap into template reality, the innate design inherent within the Tao – all objects, places, and beings.

What is the essence of privilege? By definition, privilege is a special right or advantage which is granted or available to only a particular person or group. For those that have it, it can be difficult to see. For those that don’t, its absence is painfully present. It has the power to completely shape our worldview and the difference in the lifestyle, access, and treatment between those who have it and those who don’t is astoundingly significant. 

Privilege comes in many forms. Peggy McIntosh lists in her seminal work “sexual orientation, employment, class, physical ability, region, handedness, religion, language, nation of origin, gender, gender identity, ethnicity, a families’ relation to money, education, housing, neighborhoods, and a families’ languages of origin” as some of the domains in which privilege exists. 

It can be difficult to see from the inside. For those that grow up with some type of privilege, or have grown accustomed to it, life becomes normal from that particular advantage point. When you’re surrounded by others who are also privileged it becomes the social norm. Normative ways of being and acting emerge during childhood and are impactful on shaping human identity. Soon privilege can become an entitlement, a projected expectation that privilege be maintained. 

Privilege is self-reinforcing. It congregates with other privilege to maintain itself. It builds momentum seeking to attract more privilege. As is said, birds of a feather. And when called out privilege often uses a myriad of explanations to justify itself. Social darwinism, “it’s a stroke of luck”, recounting the scoreboard of past compensatory actions, and pointing to the positive outcomes ie “the ends justify the means” or trickle-down economics are a few of the many defense mechanisms consciously or subconsciously deployed. 

It’s easy to deny this when we don’t possess them, but humans like privileges. They’re alluring and externally validate the internal feelings of specialness that most possess. People like to sit in the private box at sports parks and have access to the faster moving line. Our velvet rope society caters to this perfectly. And it seems that when those who are disadvantaged quickly gain privilege they accept it readily as if it’s due to them rather than breaking a cycle of haves and have nots.The Dictator’s Handbook describes in detail the truth behind the classic aphorism “one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter.” Examples abound from Africa and South America of how quickly the deprived liberators become the privileged oppressors. Similarly, in the Stanford prison experiment access to privilege was purposefully manipulated and both the guards and prisoners eagerly played into their new found privilege to shocking results. In many political coups, the formerly downtrodden faction which usurps power is intoxicated with their new authority and quickly become the brutalizers they despise. 

Privilege’s existence is tightly interwoven with humanity. It is driven by differences between one and another. While pre-agrarian societies were likely more egalitarian, the rise of concentrations of power – and thus privilege – has been occurring for many thousands of years. The Vedic caste system is an institutionalized system of privileges dating back to 1500 BCE. And before that the many empires that arose around acquiring and protecting land and treasure were societies in which privileged royals, priests, and merchants – almost exclusively men – lived much differently than workers, peasants, and slaves. 

Money and wealth is one of the most clear determinants of privilege. The more you have the more a different set of rules apply, the more access you can buy, and the more you can get away with. Between our globalized entanglement of capitalism and our legacies of oppression and racism still alive today, it seems that privilege is here to stay.

1.1 Accepting Privilege

In Alcoholics Anonymous the first step is to admit there’s a problem. Accurately defining problems is an undervalued step in realizing potential. Charles Kettering, an inventor of General Motors fame, correctly stated that “a problem well stated is half solved.” We, particularly those with privilege, need to get real about its presence in our lives.

The problem isn’t that there is privilege. The problem is that it is not being used to lift others up. If all of those with privilege used their privilege to level the playing field, the relative difference between the haves and have nots shrinks. Here lies the great potential. In a zero-sum world where there are winners and losers this would seem to be against one’s own personal interest. We’ll explore that more shortly. 

The first step is to understand our privilege. In an interview with The New Yorker, renowned women’s studies scholar Peggy McIntosh shares a simple question to pierce the veil of privilege. What do I have that I haven’t earned? It was this question that led Peggy to publish her 46 observations about white privilege by seeing how her privilege inundated her everyday life.

Self-awareness and acknowledgement allows us to map our privilege. I’m not going to hang my laundry so to speak. I’ve read plenty of articles where people list out their privileges. That’s not necessary here. Sufficive to say – I am privileged and I know it (said Gangham style). And the likelihood is you are too if you’re reading this. 

A quick note on shame here. The only way I will feel shame about these privileges is if I didn’t use them to benefit my fellows. I’m not ashamed of these privileges in and of themselves, most of which I was born into. It is the lot into which I am cast. My mother always said “there but go the grace of God go I” and “it’s a stroke of genetic luck I wasn’t born on the plains of Africa with no water, education, and healthcare.” For those born into or who have accumulated privilege, the question is what is the responsibility of privilege? 

2 The Responsibility of Privilege

So I’ve accepted I am privileged and sought to understand it. I’ve mapped my own privilege. Now what? 

The primary responsibility of privilege is wielding it to expand other’s access to opportunity. It is tempting to say that the responsibility is equality. Forced equality is different than equal access to opportunity. We have rarely had equality as evidenced by the millenia of hierarchical systems stemming back to earliest nomadic tribes who had hierarchical chiefdoms. Our goal is to eliminate barriers to accessing opportunity so we maintain the necessity of free will, self-determination, and natural variation. Ideally, access to opportunity is equal and what an individual chooses to do with that access is left to their own accord, supported by healthy parenting, whole human education, and vibrant communities. 

An important question emerges. Why would someone seek to expand other’s access to opportunities which if taken advantage of would seemingly reduce the relative power of their own privilege as others gain more? The answer lies in our intertwined fate.

An antidote to the many modern problems we are now facing is the evolution in understanding of humanity as a species whose common fate is total. At the species-level, we all thrive or we don’t. This realization, long since emerged, now beckons us to see the complexity, interdependence, systems, and patterns that don’t just link us – they bind us. By recognizing the fundamental connection between all things, expanding access to opportunity ensures all of our survival. All ships rise. 

We must grow the pie but not confuse this as a raison d’être for unfettered economic growth. “Opportunity” is so quickly taken to mean the opportunity for financial well-being in the capitalistic system. This narrow view fails to account for the multiple types of capital (financial, human, social, cultural, natural, built, and political). We must take a wide view of opportunity. It is the opportunity to breathe clean air and have water. It is the opportunity to have healthy systems of education, money, justice, etc… The opportunity to have our needs met in ways that aren’t explicitly tied to money first. To have vibrant, diverse, and resilient communities. 

Systemic imbalance and injustice, the hard-coded disadvantages of our systems and the soft-coded biases in human behavior, plagues humanity. It proliferates differences in access to the basic needs, most importantly education, furthering the stratification of our social relation. It is those who are privileged who must take the lead on this as they are the ones who control the systems. Passivity is an endorsement of the system as it stands today. “Silence is violence” is a popular phrase post-George Floyd. 

One responsibility of privilege is also to maintain privilege. It should not be shunned. Rather it must be wielded. Privilege’s viability, that is its ability to maintain itself across time, is essential. Its effectiveness diminishes as it is lost. One must fill another’s cup from their own abundance. If the systems which created said privilege are fundamentally unsustainable at their core then the preservation of privilege requires attention be directed to these systems. Ill-gotten privilege harms the self. If you can’t see it you’re not looking broadly enough. 

2.1 Safety Nets

I recently left an amazing job at an amazing company. I turned down career advancement in response to this inquiry about the responsibility of my privilege. 

The reality is I’m a highly educated and capable white male (among my many privileges). I don’t have to worry. My work experience is deep and varied and I continue to make significant investments in my personal and professional training and development to increase my capabilities. I’ve been successful and I have in the past and can in the future add a lot of value to organizations. I write and speak well. My network is full of advantaged people. I can’t fuck it up. 

What a safety net! Take a minute to reflect on your safety net. If today was the day you turned your life energy over to service, how much would really be at risk? Instantly the mind likely goes to the bank account balance. But ask yourself, what is the cost of my inaction? Not in dollars and cents but in quality of life, connection, and your personal vibrance?

I could continue to use my privilege to amass a very comfortable and abundant life. Sure, I’d donate or volunteer in the margins. But is that enough? If most of us did just a little would it be enough to meet our current crises? Can a minority solve the meta-crisis affecting the majority? 

Like most, I am not financially independent. Yet the relative safety net of my education, experience, and network afford leaps of faith into the unknown terrain of wicked problems and societal need. What sacrifice and service does the comfort of your privilege afford?

And what of our individual legacies? What will we tell our children when they ask ‘what did you do when you first knew?’ Continue on in willful ignorance (or cognitive dissonance) kicking the proverbial can down the road? Or take the hard actions which require sacrifice of today’s comfort for tomorrow’s vibrance? What of our personal daily actions that are meaningful for the 7 generations?

For me I am frequently reflecting that “life is short”. There’s only so much time to accomplish our potential, to realize our soul’s dream for our unique life, before we’ve joined our ancestors and are pushing up trees. This is not the first or last last lifetime which I’ll be incarnated in. And while everyone has different goals in each lifetime, this life’s set of lessons require me to skate to where the puck is going and to be of service. All that glitters is not gold despite the pleasing nature of the shiny and alluring career. 

Many traditions the world over emphasize service to others over service to self. These indigenous ways of living and being are struggling to survive the effects of modernity’s encroachment on their land and cultures. Yet until the industrial revolutions these societies thrived for millennia in great harmony, abundance, and health relative to the dominance of Western econo-politics. 

It is also out of self-interest and as a steward of our unborn children that the harsh realities of our modern world can no longer be ignored. The climate, education, economic, spiritual, and moral crises, also known as the meta-crisis, the seeds of which were sowed long before I was born, is reaching criticality, word choice which is a nod to Bucky Fuller who described this lucidly decades ago. While earth will be fine and nature’s antifragility will ensure its survival, it is the human species which may or may not survive (or thrive). 

Amidst all of the dire predictions and my own predilections towards doom and gloom, it is difficult to have certainty about the future given our crises. It can always be said that the future is uncertain though 100 years ago that uncertainty didn’t reasonably include the potential for the downfall or destruction of our species in the consideration set. Since the dawn of the Nuclear era, humanity has possessed the capability to destroy itself. Fortunately we were able to avoid our own hubris and now the clock measuring the likelihood of our Mutually Assured Destruction ticks backwards from midnight. Despite this, we are now on the verge of tipping the ecological balance of this planet through modern industry and the effects of unbalanced capitalism.

Our best option is to engage our sensemaking using the highest quality and most varied interdisciplinary information currently available to determine what future outcomes are most probable. This function, the luxury of being able to pay attention and devote time, attention, and precious life energy to this conversation, is at once both a privilege and a necessity for successful navigation of the 21st century. It is matched only by the requisite inner work, the evolution of our individual emotional and spiritual faculties which connect our hearts with that which is also alive. 

Through my sensemaking I arrive at an overplayed sentiment: the time is now. The risk of cataclysmic events is far greater than the reward of today’s personal comfort. I can no longer in good conscience stand on the sidelines. This life’s energy and attention must meet the moment. Even if the cataclysmic events never materialize it is an abandonment of conscience and the Eightfold Noble Path to not respond to the determination of our dire present need for broad systemic, bio-regional, and local evolution. Every single one of us is needed. Given the scale of our challenges, tremendous opportunity is available and we are still at the early stages of realizing this potential despite many decades of diligent work.

Only the ostriches are left with their heads in the sand about the manner in which humans currently occupy Earth. Side note – ostriches don’t actually bury their heads in the sand – it’s an urban myth.

3 The Regenerative Take

If we view society as a complex system where there is natural variation in an individual’s capabilities, whether they are inherited or created, it makes sense that privilege arises out of nature’s diversity. Yet the distance between the least and most privileged is growing exponentially based not on inherent qualities but on systems of tax avoidance, wealth transfer, institutionalized and systemic injustice, corporate favoritism, and too many other methods of “looking out for our own”. A society with significant stratification of privilege may be an inevitable consequence of our modern push for human “progress”.

To gain the most leverage we must focus on nodal interventions that specifically target where privilege and power coagulate and fortify. This requires us to examine and evolve the incentivization systems that allow for the destruction of habitat, monetary manipulation, economic fail-safes like bail outs and subsidies, all of the industrial complexes, the partisan politics masquerade, and the doom loop of campaign finance and corporate corruption. New incentives must stimulate actions that expand access to opportunity and hold bad actors accountable for their externalities. 

This developmental effort must occur at all levels of work. On the first level (ourselves) it is not only the actions described above to examine and take responsibility for one’s own privilege that is required. We must continue to create on-ramps for people to become regenerative to the systems within which they are nested and begin thinking in terms of connections and wholes. At the second level (us and those around us) it is the necessity to use our privilege to benefit our communities and take actions that are slightly more than proportional to one’s privilege. On the third level (all of us in the greater whole/system) we must be advocates and donors, voting with our dollars & feet, and hopefully transitioning one’s life work to generative and beneficial endeavors.  

It is also important to realize that lack of privilege and the subsequent disenfranchisement, suffering, and anger represent enormous activating potential and the transmutation of these into higher levels of consciousness is best facilitated through appropriate interventions. Stoked to a proper degree and collectively harnessed our outrage at the social, economic, and environmental injustices of this world can lead to the powerful reconciliation of the systems as they stand today. These systems are the restraining forces that seek to keep the status quo, associated power structures, and beneficiaries producing privileges for the minority at the expense of the majority.

It is trauma that obscures our seeing of true essence and potential. While history may contain much trauma inflicted by the hands of other fallible humans acting from their patterns of trauma, these actions are not our highest nature. By recognizing and addressing traumas and creating spaces for healing, we can engage in the multi-level healing required to unstick dense and stagnant privilege in our interdependent systems. The way out is through it and up (think Sprial Dynamics). 

Many privileges have social and economic externalities. A wide view of externalities defines them as an unintended consequence of an action that is pushed on a different party than the beneficiary of that action. Many of the privileges that are enjoyed in the West are at the expense of someone or something else. When the full-scale multi-systemic impact of our actions and consumption is not reflected in the costs we pay for products we are creating imbalance in the macro-and-micro flows of our systems. Just because the outcomes of these balances are not visible or purposefully obscured does not mean they don’t exist – they do. For pop culture reference, see the Architect scene in the matrix discussing the “sum of an anomaly”. These are the black and grey swans which are inevitably forming as the unintended consequences of irresponsible and unchecked privilege. 

4 Rights and Privileges 

There is a distinction between rights and privileges. As defined by John Locke which became the basis for U.S. democracy we are all born with inalienable rights. A right cannot be taken away. It can be blocked, but it still exists a priori. 

We need both rights and privileges. The problem is that we have lost sight of the difference between the two and are now frequently misconstruing our privileges as rights (ie driver’s license and weapons of mass destruction like automatic weapons) and our rights as privileges (ie health care and a healthy ecology).

What happens when rights are not accessible equally? Does everyone receive the same right to a fair trial? No. We have different justice systems depending on race and socio-economic status. Does everyone bear the environmental costs of our modern way of life evenly? No. The biggest polluters (individuals and countries) do not experience environmental degradation like the poor do. Does everyone have access to health care (which should be a human right)? Not in most places on the planet. 

Life is unfair. Boo hoo. Good intentions and idealism make for easy targets in our laissez-faire capitalism. In a world where there are scarce resources to meet everyone’s needs and there is not enough to go around, it’s a tough argument that the privileged should advocate for the disadvantaged. But that is not reality. The privileged have plenty of resources, access, and special treatment. And rights are not equitable either. This is not an argument for the redistribution of wealth. Rather it’s the call to action for those with privilege to answer the moral obligation of their privilege and to act in their own self-interest.

5 Onward

These thoughts have been simmering for a while amidst the pretty fancy circumstances I manifested for myself. Over the past years I have lived in a really nice part of Dallas, traveled everywhere I’ve wanted, and essentially wanted for nothing (because it’s easier to actually just want less but that’s a different article). I’ve eaten many nice meals and stayed in a few superb resorts and lived a life of privilege begat by the many privileges of birth which I already enjoyed (not to downplay my substantial hard work but I’m sure it pales in comparison to a day’s labor of a physical worker in the poorest places on earth). 

With such a personal safety net it’s unconscionable to look out at the world, replete with its many systemic challenges and enormous potential, and continue to cruise on easy street. For several years I have prayed for “hard work that is easy to do”. It is my service to community and life that I now take responsibility for by focusing on actualizing the potential of our systems. 

What’s your move?

Transition: Where is the Puck Going?

I have not written much about my current transition as I’ve been deeply engaged with ensuring it’s successful. In shamanism we call this a bid for power, when one sets out to acquire more power, to “level up” by accomplishing some task. Bids for power usually come with tests to challenge us and ensure that we are ready to rise to the next level. That has certainly been the case with this transition. 

What transition? After much consideration I have decided to leave the role of Director of Business Development at AppFolio, “the world’s fastest growing company.” It has not been easy to arrive at this decision. I have, above all else, built many close relationships over the last five and a half years with humans I truly enjoy and appreciate. Some I expect to be friends with until my sun sets. AppFolio is truly a phenomenal world-class company and I keep reflecting how blessed my life is that I get to leave such a great place because I know there are more great experiences and opportunities waiting for me in the world. 

I have learned and contributed much during my time as a manager and director. I am humbled by the words shared about the contributions I have made to the people I have led and coached. And our results speak for themselves. An average of 107% quota attainment across 22 quarters amidst the company growing at a CAGR of ~30%. Not too shabby. 

Why leave? There’s nothing wrong at AppFolio. In fact, much is right. I reflect back to when my close friend and the previous director gave Socrates’ famous words, “know thyself”, as his final advice before he too walked out of the door leaving greatness to pursue his heart. I have been investing deeply in this knowing of myself for many years now and I’ve learned key attributes, values, and needs about myself:

  1. I am far more creative than I have led myself to believe in the past. 
  2. Spaciousness is required, an exploration of the void, in order for me to fully bloom.
  3. It’s not about the money. 
  4. Life is short, use it wisely. Time is the most precious resource in life. 
  5. I require and thrive with variety. I am fundamentally interdisciplinary and my college degree was more reflective of my instincts and modes of learning, being, and operating than I once realized. 
  6. I enjoy thinking, strategy, and operationalizing that strategy. I easily create structure. 
  7. I love speaking about the things I care most about. 

It’s for these personal reasons that I see these primary needs best met in another pasture. “Greener” pastures assumes a better/worse relationship, laden with hierarchy and judgement. Life’s not about greener pastures. It’s about other pastures, the simple opportunity to experiment and bring forth new experiences into one’s life. Good and bad are relative. It’s all one point on a spectrum, each point as valuable as the next. Life is experimental. And as I mature I become more clear that truly, life is short, from just about every perspective that I look at it. 

When the offer came for a promotion to Senior Director with a substantial raise to match the responsibilities I was already performing, I immediately knew the answer was no, no matter how much cognitive dissonance existed between society’s definition of success (which I was clearly achieving) and the knowing in my heart about what I am called to. 

As reflexive and self-conscious as I can be at times, this decision is not just about me and my internal machinations.

Skate to Where the Puck is Going 

Those of you that know me personally know that the best I can muster about sports is my shallow attempts at sports humor by trash talking about things I have no clue about or purposefully using the wrong sports vernacular. However recently it is the words of the great hockey player Wayne Gretsky that I have spent significant time pondering. 

While I wouldn’t have worked at AppFolio if I didn’t find SaaS and the real estate market interesting, I do wonder, “where is the puck going?” 

As I look out at the world, I see crises and realities that require all of our earnest attention if we are to co-evolve as a human species from this dangerous precipice upon which we now teeter. The puck is moving towards:

  • The arriving climate disaster and sixth mass extinction. The health of the entire living earth system, our trees, soil, air, and water, is in rapid decline at the hands of the suicidal tendencies of modern extractive capitalism and the mindset of Cartesian reductionism that fails to account for the complexity of the systems which sustain life. There are many reasons to be hopeful and there are plenty of reasons to fear that we are not doing enough. What is one’s role in securing life for the next seven generations?
  • Emergent technologies beckon our close attention for the many benefits and risks they pose. Between blockchain, Web 3.0, artificial intelligence, biotechnology, and much more, the intersection of new technology with our wicked problems represents enormous opportunity – and danger – as each is capable of accelerating or decelerating our growth towards dystopian or utopian futures. If we’re honest, Homo Sapiens has a fairly dubious record of treating our environment, “lesser” species, and even one another. How can these new technologies be harnessed for productive, life-positive outcomes that unfold more vitality, viability, and evolution?
  • The two bullet points above necessitate a global cultural rotation and reconnection to community as a primary organizing principle. With the high level of complexity and interconnectedness of our global economies comes more fragility (when not thoughtfully designed or cooperated on), a reality recognized by the shocks to supply chains and economies through the pandemic. Now is the time for the preeminence of place in how we relate to our world. As much as global problems direly need solutions they are most effectively addressed at scale by a series of bio-regional or local solutions. How do I take care of my backyard with my neighbors and assist you in building your own capacity to take care of yours?
  • Everywhere I look the signs are evident – human consciousness is rising. The Archaic Revival talked about by Terrence McKenna is unfolding, a natural, even carnal response to the downsides of modernity. Cyclically speaking, when observing the prophecies of long-time calendar traditions like the Mayan (Toltec) and Vedic Yugas, our lowest is behind us and ahead of us is a golden age of consciousness. We’ve turned the corner. Right now we are building the foundations for the mass expansion of our spiritual faculties on a species-wide and planetary level and this will continue to accelerate far beyond our human lives. What is my role in this healing?
  • All of this requires shifts in three primary systems:
    • Education is a first mover to every bullet point here. Building the capacity to expand these many ways of thinking (regenerative, complexity, holistic) is a necessity. Ensuring that on a societal level we raise functional, whole humans will solve so many issues and free us up to work on what’s most important. 
    • Consumption is rapidly ceding mind-and-wallet share to the experience economy, a principle first written about in 1999, a book I’ve yet to read. The evolution of understanding and connection can be facilitated through experiences designed to touch the heart and align the mind with it. 
    • Culture is our most powerful technology creating the very container in which human evolution takes place. It was Western culture that enabled the Enlightenment, Industrial Revolution, and Technological Revolution, for better AND worse. 

As I consider these realities as where the puck is going, I realize that I’m not “leaving such a great place because I know there are more great experiences and opportunities waiting for me in the world”. I am embarking on my dharma, this life’s sacred duty to be fulfilled. I am motivated by this deep knowing that I am responsible for applying my talents to being of service. 

I have spent many years building a set of skills which I am now ready to apply to the tasks of which I am called to. Calling is an interesting concept. Some say it is a myth. I perceive that for me, there are the right endeavors at the right time and that there will be many of these opportunities (callings) throughout this life. One door closes. Another opens. To transition with power, grace, and clarity of heart even if the vision is not crystal clear, these are my tasks at hand. To complete the harvest such that I am capable of service in the next endeavor. It sometimes requires silence to hear the next calling. 

I cannot devote my time to all of these issues. The question is, what is the next right divinely-inspired action I will take? Off the cliff I leap, trusting in myself and the universe, that I will hear a call, the one I’ve been praying for and calling in. I am ready and I will answer with passion and gusto.


This next article (coming soon) in this series on Transition is “What’s the Responsibility of Privilege?”

Sign up for an occasional update + more!

57 Days? What Are You Up To, Evan?!

It’s been an astounding 57 days since I’ve last posted here. Is that a problem? Perhaps for my commitment to write frequently this year. 

Alas! I have been writing, just elsewhere. And through this process I’ve come to understand that my commitment is not just to write. I am committed to creating. As an artist, a term I use very loosely to describe the many mediums through which I express, I’m finding that I will create even if I’m not trying.

Here’s what I’ve been up to:

  • is a website I’ve created from scratch over the last two months. It is my journey to “expand sensemaking for the masses”. I have researched and written a variety of content on the topic with more articles identified as I continue to peel back the layers of sense-making. 
  • is another website I’ve designed and a project that I am resourcing as part of my continuing work as a regenerative practitioner. 
  • Another website that I’m not ready to share yet with the world…

Amidst all of this, I’ve been diligently prepping for the most significant transition period in my adult life. More to come on this…

Drop me a line (I’m getting into some fun stuff)…

Hill Climber or Valley Crosser: Is Your Hill Worth Dying On?

Here’s an overused truism: life is a journey. 

In longer form: life is about the journey, not the destination. 

These linguistic phrases are repeated often because they accurately represent our lived experience. 

Language shapes our world and we often think in metaphors like this.

They help us grasp concepts in relatable terms. 

Enter a newer metaphor: Hill Climber and Valley Crosser. 

Which one are you?


Theoretical physicist Lee Smolin first wrote about the concept as applied to academic research. His point, as summarized by Tim Kastelle and Roland Harwood, is that:

Some scientists…are what we might call “hill climbers”. They tend to be highly skilled in technical terms and their work mostly takes established lines of insight that pushes them further; they climb upward into the hills in some abstract space of scientific fitness, always taking small steps to improve the agreement of theory and observation. These scientists do “normal” science. In contrast, other scientists are more radical and adventurous in spirit, and they can be seen as “valley crossers”. They may be less skilled technically, but they tend to have strong scientific intuition — the ability to spot hidden assumptions and to look at familiar topics in totally new ways.

I came across the concept from a single mention made by Daniel Schmachtenberger during Rebel Wisom’s Sensemaking Course (highly recommended). Its profundity as an useful analogy struck me and its exploration has led to the distinctions below.

What is a Hill Climber?

Hill Climbers are motivated by traditional definitions of success like status, title, and wealth. Like the playground game, their goal is to make it to the top and become king of the hill. Their role is that of a Motivated Climber, where there is a set destination, the social, economic, or political top. Hill Climbers demonstrate their attainment through virtue and success signaling. 

The structures Hill Climbers navigate are hierarchical, and thus, zero-sum, by nature. There can be only one CEO, one VP, or one Executive Director. Moving up the ladder requires acquiring the finite availability of resources and power positions at the exclusion of others. Successful hill climbers are masters of power dynamics. 

A Hill Climber has bounded returns, meaning that because the success path is pre-defined and previously ascended by others, the opportunity to add value or novelty is bounded by incremental, rather than phase-shift, innovation. Because the destination is along a more known path, Hill Climbers iterate and improve what already exists and are much more likely to end with a modicum of financial success.  

The top level Hill Climber becomes the master of an existing domain by iterating and improving existing processes, excelling and dominating over competitors, & ascending and defending the hill. 

Hill Climbers ask themselves “how can I get ahead?” and “how can I create more?”.

What is a Valley Crosser?

Valley Crossers are motivated by achievement and exploration of uncharted territory. As they look across a chasm in front of them, they cannot decipher the distance to the other side or the contour of the terrain they must cross in order to achieve their outcome. Their role is that of an Intrepid Explorer, driven into the unknown allured by what might await them. 

The structures Valley Crossers navigate are more cooperative than competitive. These grand explorations are rarely embarked upon alone and require a complex web of collaborators to achieve breakthroughs. 

A Valley Crosser has the potential for significant, unbounded returns alongside a higher risk of “failure”. Because Valley Crossers trek an unknown path, their journey is one of trial and error, where maintaining a “don’t know mind” is essential for new discovery. Rather than iterate and improve what exists, Valley Crossers invent entirely new realities, or nothing at all and end with little financial success. 

The top level Valley Crosser is the forebearer of a new domain in thought or commerce, unearthing new inquiries to be solved and eliminating possibilities that don’t work. 

Valley Crossers ask themselves “what problems are worth my time to solve?”, “what’s difficult?”, and “how can I create something new?”.


When I first set out to write this article, I set out to prove that Valley Crossers are more important to our society because I have a personal proclivity (read bias) towards the value of Valley Crossing. Either/Or thinking like this will almost always fail us. This is the same type of polarized thinking fueling our many ideological clashes drawn around cultural battle lines: our “us versus them” mindset. 

The reality is typically more complex and nuanced than the easy and convenient temptation to default to one pole or another. The role of the Sensemaker is to decipher the signal from the noise present in all perspectives and then create a coherent understanding from the signals that drives personal meaning and action.

Some of the top Hill Climbers are by necessity Valley Crossers. Anyone who has climbed a mountain knows that the route to the top is rarely a straight shot and often a surprise valley or ravine is hiding between here and the top. Similarly, the top Valley Crossers have to climb hills to get traction and compete in the modern economy and marketplace of ideas.

Our primary societal orientation is Hill Climber. We need more Valley Crossers. Will society’s most vexing problems be solved by Hill Climbers or Valley Crossers? Or those that play in both realms? It seems that innovators cross valleys before climbing hills. Our trumpeted technopreneurs like Elon Musk and Steve Jobs (and all the others), even Thomas Edison, all crossed valleys before commercial success catapulted them to the top of a hill many others now find themselves on. 

“A hill worth dying on…?”

You may have heard the phrase “that is not a hill worth dying on” before. I have learned in my career to choose carefully which hills to die on (figuratively of course). Perhaps the most important part of this entire analogy is hill or valley selection. 

Whether we are climbing a hill or crossing a valley, which one is ultimately more important than the means by which we’re pursuing it. Think about the hill or valley you are on. Trace the outcome of your escapade to its conclusion. Begin with the end in mind. What is the expected natural outcome of this particular path? How does it align with your values?

Thinking like this must be one reason why I’ve heard people say, “I looked at the future and realized I didn’t want my boss’ job so I opted out…” No matter where you are today, remember that it’s never too late to start a new hill or a new valley. And it’s essential to periodically evaluate your path, progress, and destination.

Some Questions to Consider:

  • What’s at the top of this hill? Is it worth it to me?
  • What do I vision is at the other side of this valley? Is it worth it to me?
  • If money were no object, what hill or valley would I find myself on?
  • If I cast off societal expectations/taboos, would I choose a different hill or valley?

Answering questions around legacy and purpose is useful when considering your trek. 

Whatever hill or valley you find yourself on, may you become aware of your path’s trajectory, evaluate its merit, and chart the course that best suits you (and those you consider). 

Carry on my intrepid friend! 

Five Questions Worth Asking

What if the question I’m asking myself right now is the biggest determinant of my future? What if by asking that question I embarked on a grand inquiry to discover the answer leading to previously unimagined realities?

The following five questions are worth asking:

What’s mine?

Look, act, and dress a certain way. Drive a certain car. Adopt a certain set of beliefs. Be a card carrying member. Depict life on social media a certain way. Signal success through material accumulation.

This is all PROGRAMMING. It’s designed by people who seek to have influence, consciously or unconsciously, and push an agenda that serves their interests by manipulating our beliefs and behavior.

But what’s really mine? Versus what’s my parents? What’s generational trauma? What’s advertising? What’s social pressure? What’s an old paradigm? How am I conforming? What doesn’t serve me?

Beneath the veneer and layers of programming is the true self. The authentic expression of our own needs, desires, and potential untainted by agenda and narratives about what success and happiness is. What can I shed? What’s mine? What’s true?

In Service Of What?

Proposition: one meaning of life is to be in service to others by upholding the universal law of reciprocity.

Language is important. Not “In Service TO What”. TO what suggests subordination to that which is being served. Rather, OF what, suggests what is being served flows through, with me as part of a whole.

Many people are In Service To Money. Servants to the system. Some are In Service Of Others. Many are in In Service to Themselves by default.

What’s greater than me that is worth it? What’s required of me to answer this question? What is worth my time?

Where am I needed?

What did I do when I first knew?

When I first knew of our environmental degradation? When I first actually saw the injustice prevalent across the globe and in our backyards? When I first recognized our fractured political system? When I first glimpsed the disconnection from ourselves and our communities? When I first saw we’re optimizing for the wrong outcomes?

Twenty years from now if my young adult child turns to me and says, “Dad, [insert system] is pretty messed up. When did you first know? What did you do when you first knew?”

What will I say? What did I do?

What’s my unique contribution?

Because each of us has something truly unique to offer hiding beneath the layers of programming and fear.

Does the tribe need another [insert my role here]? What’s my zone of genius? How do I build trust in the value of what I have to offer outside of the financial compensation for it? What lights the fire inside me? How far am I willing to go to find this? How uncomfortable am I willing to be? What won’t I sacrifice?

Life wants nothing more than for us to bring forward our unique contribution, to be in our gift, and offer it to others.

What’s my legacy?

From ashes to ashes and dust to dust, if there is one thing to be sure of, it’s the timely end to all human lives. And where we’re going material goods have no use (unless you’re being mummified with your gold to prepare for the afterlife like the ancient Egyptians). So what’s the point of all of this?

Maybe its children. Or charity. Or building something great. Or useful. Preferably useful and life sustaining. What endures after we’ve taken our last breath? Will the Presidents Club or that sweet media room crystallize my contribution? What do I choose to have meaning?

The How Takes Care of Itself

Even though these are “what” questions they get at our Why.

Don’t worry about the how. The how takes care of itself.

Yes, it’ll be hard work. But it’ll be easy to do because we’re clear on our Why.

Invest attention in getting clarity about what’s most important.

Remember that the path is directional. Inquiries evolve.

It’s never too early or too late to ask these questions.

Henry David Thoreau said “the mass of men live lives of quiet desperation.”

What if the way out of desperation is asking questions like this?

Anger Is Here

During morning meditation I experienced the depths of anger.
I notice shame related to anger. Cultured, proper men are not angry. Anger is unbecoming. Anger is a “lower” instinct. Anger is aggressive. Impolite. Not productive.

I’ve never been one for much anger. Typically I’m a pretty easy going guy. And that’s not because I’m suppressing anger to be agreeable. It just rarely comes up.

Today I’m in touch with it. I’m angry about our ecological, political, social, and cultural realities. I’m angry at the lies and misdeeds perpetrated against one another. I’m angry at all of the injustice. I’m angry we know better but do it anyway. I’m angry that I can’t/won’t just take the easy road. I’m angry I’m single right now. I’m angry about the election and our polarization.

I’m aware of the self-judgement that arises when I express this anger.

I have learned that the best action when emotion arises is to go into it. It is through our emotions that we learn from them, are informed by them, and able to release them. Suppressing them invites emotion to show up in other forms like dis-ease, instability, or transference.

Into this anger I sense tremendous activating energy. It is itself a form of resistance to what is. Resistance requires energy and this energy can be harnessed and channeled.

Into this anger I feel the unbridled edge of ferocious masculine power ready to act, defend, or kill. I feel the steady fuel of sturdy, resolute determination. I feel invigorated through its acknowledgment.

Into this anger I see this part of human experience that’s been hiding under cultural programming and political correctness.
Anger, like all emotions, is a great signal telling us something about ourselves.

Aristotle said that “Anybody can become angry — that is easy, but to be angry with the right person and to the right degree and at the right time and for the right purpose, and in the right way — that is not within everybody’s power and is not easy.” This is one definition of wisdom.

Wisdom is knowing and experiencing the full spectrum of emotional possibility. Courage beckons us to explore the cobweb corners. I often say the Serenity Prayer which goes “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

Will this anger not change? I’ve been angry (and bewildered) about the structures of our society for as long as I can remember. Or can I change this anger? Can my journey into it yield a depth of understanding? Is mastery knowing anger so deeply that I know when, how, and to what degree is appropriate?

The answers to these questions cannot be answered from afar. I will not reveal them to myself playing nice on the sidelines.

So today I’m angry. I’m in touch with this unmasked reservoir. It feels carnal. Edgy. Aggressive. Potent. Useful. Full of potential and activating energy.

It is revealing a map. To what I care about, whom I love, and where my passions lie.

It’s inviting me, beguiling its exploration. It’s the subconscious throwing rocks at the window ready to deliver a message.

Associating with anger in the mind is images of armor, war, and conflict. Perhaps there is a stigma surrounding anger that I’m tapping into? Through history have we seen the outcomes of improperly expressed anger? Does the need for ‘anger management’ signal our mistrust of its worth or our ability to connect with it healthily?

I notice a tenderness. Yes, this anger could rip your fucking head off. But…it hints at vulnerability. In the direction of what is not accepted. Toward s attachments, desires, and wishes. And to the emotions of Fear. Hurt. Guilt. And Shame.

In this anger I feel my connection and compassion for my fellow beings. I feel my capacity to love. To care enough to take up arms and fight valiantly for that which is most important. To be alive enough to want something different, and better, for myself.

If I didn’t care, would I be angry? Does anger exist in proportion to care? If it does then is this anger a welcome sign of healthy connection with life, the world, and the beings in it? And if anger is really just a signal of what matters to me then does it have anything to do with the external world?

It seems there is a difference between being angry AT something and angry BECAUSE of something. Clarity abounds in this recognition. I am the source of my anger. The world is. It just is. It can be no other way. My anger arises within me and not because of something happening externally.

Which means I have more control of this anger than originally perceived. It means I can transform it. Direct it AT something. Anger becomes my expression outwards, rather than an effect occurring inwards. Despite this I’m aware that anger arises on its own with a message for me just like other emotions.

If I am the source of this anger then it behooves me to
understand from what source is this anger arising? It could be healthy anger. Anger from its beneficial source of compassion, connection, care, and love. Or it could be destructive, self-sabotaging anger sourced from fear, rejection, and lack of trust. There is excavation to do.

I honor this anger. I know it’s important for me. As a man bringing forth healthy, mature masculinity. As a partner dancing with the feminine. As a citizen who cares. As a human being living in reciprocity with the beings around me.

I choose to express it. For it to be seen and to talk about its presence. To explore its energy. To uncover its deeper roots. To know it and thus myself and you better. To offer it to you, to us, in service of what it could actualize and benefit.

Angry I Am,

Keystone Habits | The Morning Routine

Keystone Habits are “small changes or habits that people introduce into their routines that unintentionally carry over into other aspects of their lives.” They create a domino effect that change every area of your life.

Charged up today! The daily routine is yielding power. Here’s my morning routine:

  • Open eyes and the first action I choose is thinking “Thank you Spirit for another day. Thank you for X, Y, and Z.” Gratitude is my attitude.
  • Immediately turn on my phone and dream journal everything I can remember about the night’s dreams. (Doing it digitally now because I want to feed several years of journals into an AI and see what it predicts…)
  • Bathroom, drink water, back to bed.-Meditate 20-30 min. Will rotate in some chanting or breathe work.-Choice: READ or WRITE. Today I wrote for 60 min. I’m really feeling it if I’m writing poetry and weaving words in A.M.
  • Make my bed while committing to the affirmation “I am in control of me. I consciously make my choices. I create order from chaos if I choose.”
  • NEW: Daily mantra in the mirror. Exploring my shadow recently I realize some self-images that I am actively reprogramming through my mantra. Beliefs become reality…
  • What’s fallen off: there was a stint in the summer where I was doing Chi Kung every morning to the rising sun. I love this practice, specifically, the feelings and power within my body. I will return to this. That and cold showers. What a challenging practice… I’ve also stopped most but not all early morning workouts because I’ve found that:
    • 1) commitment to this routine is a more grounded way to start the day,
    • 2) late afternoon/evening workouts are a great energizer for the rest of the evening, and
    • 3) in fall/winter the weather is more conducive in Michigan.
  • What I’ve noticed: this is all very easy to do when settled at home. During my last road trip, 4,500 miles over 21 days and 10 beds, this routine dwindled as novelty and busy-ness invaded the space held for these practices. Committed to exploring that as I would like to experience the joys of traveling and my morning routine simultaneously.

I’m curious, what’s your morning routine?

Playground Trash | On Judgement and Acceptance of Other

I visit the neighborhood playground at least twice a week to do pullups and on my daily walks. What I often find is trash strewn about the playground. Empty bottles, tops removed. Styrofoam with half eaten chicken. Junk food wrappers. Plastic bags wind wrapped around metal playground poles. A mess!

At first, my reaction each time has been somewhere in the vicinity of, “these trashy people”, “these people have no respect”, “didn’t their mother teach them better”, “this is why we cant have nice things”, etc…JUDGEMENT!

Here I am on my high horse, picking up the playground and patting myself on the back for being so pious. As I pick up the trash I devote the action to Gaia and feel the satisfaction of my actions affirming life. A difference is apparent. Between my righteous actions and the actions of these disrespectful people.

Questions emerge. Do these humans really know better? If they didn’t, then how can they be blamed? If they did, and littered anyway, isn’t there some other distortion guiding their action? What if this is just the level if consciousness that they’re at?

What if there’s no action or person to judge? Can I see in their actions myself? Yes. I’m no saint. I’ve littered. Been careless. Know what it’s like to assume in youthful arrogance that my mess is someone else’s problem.

Then an evolution in perception occurs. The difference between us shrinks. All of the sudden, there is no “they”. I see me, what I’m capable of. What I have the choice to do or not do. I see that a person’s actions are the outward manifestation of their level of consciousness. There can be no other way.

All the grotesque and vile behavior, from my judgement, just is. It’s where the person is at. If these people felt connection with Gaia, symbiosis with the ecosystem, understood the complexity of our systems and the small role their actions, perhaps they would make a different choice. But they don’t. Clearly.

The evolution of consciousness happens in it’s own time and space. Conscientiousness blooms differently for us all, or never. And that’s okay. I see my option is to either accept you as you are. Or judge you from my high horse named Hubris’ Folly.

Compassion forms. I remember when I operated from that level. “It’s someone else’s problem.” I remember not being accountable for my actions. Even if you cant, can you relate to the possibility of that being true within yourself?

A line from the bible that has resonated recently is Luke 23:24 “Forgive them, for they know not what they do.” There’s no way you can really know what you’re doing that is against another (which is ultimately against the self), and still do it. When you get it, *feel it*, in your heart, and emanate this level of understanding, your action changes. Being preceded doing.

Smiles. I smile much more often now. I see things that stick out to me. Conspicuous consumption. Behaviors meant to convey an image. Many more cigarette smokers in Lansing. I judge not.

One of my favorite quotes is “Comparison is the thief of joy.” And I’ve always taken it to mean, don’t compare myself with those who I perceive to be more successful, attractive, wealthy, blah, blah, blah than me. It works the other way too. Comparison requires a difference. When I look and judge myself to be at a higher level of consciousness because I pick up the trash that others leave, I am affirming theres a difference between us. It is not so.

On one level, of course there is a difference. Our physical actions, presumably our attitudes and beliefs. Yet I see in others myself, my human possibility to have been or be, now or in the future, existing at their level of consciousness from which flows actions that I now choose not to judge.

Joy comes from seeing others as they are, how they show up and through their actions, and accepting them wherever they’re at. Full acceptance of self cannot occur without the acceptance of the other. This includes racists and corrupt politicians.

I’ve watched with great interest over the last weeks the polarity between the BLM movement and those opposed to its ideals. It’s a wide chasm between the two with many different viewpoints on all sides. I recently watched the video of the “attempted lyching” in which white people are restricting a sovereign being’s free will and using disgusting language against another. Its abhorrent to life, and thus ourselves, to treat another like this.

Do I blame these perpetrators? No. Do I see them as victims themselves? Maybe (though victimhood is a whole separate conversation in itself). Are they the product of cultural or familial programming installed and imprinted during childhood? Maybe. Do I see that their actions emerge from the level of their consciousness? Yes. Can I see that in the range of all possibilities, every human is capable of those despicable actions (even Mother Theresa a woman universally regarded as a recent living saint)? Yes. It is possible. Can I see how those that occupy the patterns of fear, Xenophobia, or racism “know not what they do”? Yes.

This doesn’t mean I condone any of this. Just that when I look, I accept that this is where they’re at. They can be in no other state of being, until they are. It’s where we’re at. It’s where I’m at, seeing myself as part of the collective, which highlights the necessity for us all to do the personal and inner work, first and foremost.

The more we resist each other, the greater the energy we feed into the conflict. The more we affirm difference. THOSE people…are me. Human beings traversing a calamitous and confusing world offering our souls the opportunity to learn important lessons. These lessons are the evolution of self-awareness itself moving towards high complexity.

As we evolve, we begin to both individuate at the same time we realize the lack of fundamental distinction between “out there” and “in here”. Those whose awareness has not expanded beyond their service to themselves are easily capable of trashing a playground or hating another for their skin pigmentation. Those whose awareness includes empathy and service to others are capable of picking up the trash or rooting out racism. Neither is “better”. That’s the value judgement.

We are all somewhere on the spectrum of awareness, and our personal thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and actions reflect our current stage of development.

This understanding is crucial to our healing right now. The rift between US vs THEM continues to grow and its fueled by judgement about the other. As long as we see them, we are incapable of transcending our own limitations. For those who prescribe to either political ideology, we must look upon the other not as the opposing force who trashes the playground but/and as humans who embody 1the possibility inherent within ourselves.

Those on the left must look within themselves to understand their own desires for individual freedom. Those on the right must look within themselves to understand their own desires to serve the common good and all in society. I see in me, you! I see in you, me! The Hermetic philosophy calls this the Law of Correspondence. As within, so without. As without, so within.

The ability to hold differing and conflicting perspectives in mind, to embody opposite polarities, is a specific practice that yields acceptance and an understanding of the other as self. On any issue that you believe (or even any idea, emotion, etc…), hold it in mind at the same time as honestly exploring the merits of the “opposing” viewpoint. Neither is right. Merely different. And in that difference, we can come to know ourselves.

Perhaps most importantly, I fear not. While it is very easy to look at our world right now, from any ideological perch, and see plenty of reasons for despair in our division, fragmentation, hatred, etc…what I know is that evolution is occurring. We are at a point in which the separation from ourselves, through extreme separation from others, is climaxing. This too is our lesson. Difference is at its max; its lesson being that any perceived difference is really separation from self.

To be clear, I am not a black man. Nor a white supremacist. Both of these people are of course physically different in the third dimension of length, width, height, and solid matter. Yet in their essence, I see the black struggle as my struggle. I see the white supremacist as coming from a level of consciousness that I’ve never been at AND whose evolution is my story, and all of our story.

Just as I once carelessly littered as a teenager and have evolved to a deeper level of understanding, so too can we all heal and evolve. There isn’t any other way.

So keep doing you. I accept you.

If you litter, I will not judge you. I’ll hold open the possibility of you evolving. I pick up the trash, and look within myself to better know the litterer.

If you are racist, I will not judge you. I’ll hold open the possibility of you evolving. I’ll stand in solidarity with my black brothers and sisters, and look within myself to better know the racist.

Healing — and unification — is an inside job.

In Service Of What?

What questions are you asking yourself? I want to know.

Because the questions we ask ourselves are incredibly powerful in shaping our future. In our society, we often acclimate more to determined answers and finality. Better to know and understand than dwell in the realm of not knowing and inquiry. For those of us dedicated to personal growth and spiritual evolution, these questions we ask are the catalyst to new explorations that will ultimately unfold new layers of our experience.

The question I had been asking myself for the past two years is, “What do I want to be the best at?” What do I want to give myself to so fully that it’s 2pm and I’ve forgotten to eat because I’m so engrossed in what I’m doing? Having demonstrated time and time again that I am capable of anything I put my mind to, what is it that lights me up, that I find totally riveting, and that I am willing to put in the 10,000 hours to develop true mastery? What do I want to master?

At 31, I am happy to share I do not know the answer to this question. And proud to have been asking it. I refuse to settle for not knowing this answer. I refuse to look at my comfortable life and say that it’s good enough to not find this answer. When it is known, I greatly look forward to the new cascade of questions that will lead to deeper understanding. Being a lifelong learner is peeling off the layers of an onion that keeps regenerating from the inside. We’re never done unraveling!

Questions have the ability to be North Stars, aligning actions over decades, careers, and lives. When a question is held in mind, the incredible processing power of our brains begins to churn over reality sifting through the enormous data inputs and our memory bank to organize around the question. Depending on the question sometimes the answer flashes brightly like a sign on the Vegas strip. Other times it is much like tracking an animal in the wild. A track in the mud, a snapped twig, and a pattern in the grass suggest we alter course Southwest. This is momentum. And in this process it’s difficult to tell how close or far we are from arriving at our destination, the answer to our inquiry. Yet we are being pulled toward something. It beckons. The answer wants to be known.

A new question has emerged which eclipses my old question in importance. In Service Of What? Very simply this question calls forward to the purpose of my life. What is my mission? On behalf of what am I willing to dedicate my precious time and life energy to? This question calls on something greater than my life, comfort, earnings, etc… This question taps into macro movements that would come through me, assembling my life effort’s in a mosaic of humans beyond simple comprehension. In what lineage of thought and practice am I to take up the mantle in? What frontier is begging me to fulfill its purpose in being known? What reverberates loudly like a giant monastery bell, it’s gong resonating so deeply as to shake every cell of my being and declare, “THIS!”? Beyond simply setting my mind to accomplish something, this question begs the passion of my soul to set alight the fires of true inspiration, alignment, and authenticity.

This question is now begging to be answered. When I first came across this question, I heard it as “In Service To What?”. I’ve pondered, is it TO or OF? Words matter. Even the tiniest of prepositions can change the meaning of the inquiry and the subsequent outcome. The definition of TO is “expressing motion in the direction of (a particular location).” The definition of OF is “expressing the relationship between a part and a whole.” TO is giving to the one being served. Good but not like OF which is me serving on behalf of a larger whole.

The journey to wholeness can be perilous and it probably always has been amidst the daily requirements of “making it” in a society. Ultimately, this inquiry is about discovering what’s true for me at the level of my soul beyond career aspirations, normative expectations, and superficial appeasements. I will not stop until I answer this question or my life’s momentum in realizing this answer brings a new question into focus.

This is MY question. What is yours?

Photo by Jamie Street on Unsplash