The future dawns.
We prepare by turning to wonder.
We understand that we are part of a current that began long before our arrival and will continue long after we depart. We do not control its course—so we must learn to flow with it.
We believe that world-changers are self-changers first. We lead not mainly by leaps, but by small steps. The way may be uncertain, but the ground we share is hallowed. All we need is here, and it’s all important. The greatest promise exists in the smallest seed. We belong to each other. We can feed each other.
We feel an energy around and about us that we don’t necessarily understand and can’t quite articulate—but which we can increase and extend by our presence.
We recognize that power emerges from spirit, from intention.
United by a sense of responsibility, and a desire to improve the landscape, we commit ourselves to dropping old baggage, opening fresh eyes, and finding new ways to examine, reflect, and shift.
Further, we pledge to:
- Take the long view, adopting an unfettered vantage point from which to see the horizon. • Round the square tables, holding safe spaces where all are seen and heard. • Listen attentively and well, inviting and welcoming disparate voices.
- Observe and discern wisely, knowing that some of our best teachers are least like ourselves.
- Perceive that there is no such thing as failure.
- Be worthy of trust, deeply reflective and authentic, flexible, humble, and grateful.
- Remind others of their dignity and hold their stories tenderly.
- Laugh heartily and often, especially at ourselves.
- Act nobly—with care, compassion, respect, and grace.
- Plant seeds, confident that they will germinate and blossom in their own time.
- Become a liberating force, unlocking barriers to passion and unleashing the vitalizing power of creativity and courage.
- Go gently down the stream, leaving only love in our wake.
*This powerful affirmation was co-created by the participants of Conversation 2011, then artfully harvested and crafted by Tom Soma. Each of us who attended put our names to this pledge as a symbol of our commitment to lead from the inside out.