An inspiration for my nearly three years of writing On Living and Working has been Seth Godin, who has been publishing daily for over a decade and who is such an invitation to bring our creative possibilities to the world. It was Seth’s book, The Icarus Deception, which convinced me it was time to stop imagining myself as a writer, and instead start to write. I’m extraordinarily grateful to him for that.
It’s for this reason that I’m continually interested in the work of others who take the step to share their learning and experience with us in an ongoing way – those who are prepared to risk enough to be our teachers and our guides.
Today I want to share two such people with you.
One is Rojan Rajiv, currently an MBA student at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. Rojan’s Learning a Day blog is wide ranging and insightful, and I marvel at his optimism and his abundant curiosity about the world. Rojan’s commitment to teach us what he’s learning himself, and his clear, big-hearted writing, offer thought provoking, pragmatic, and often extremely useful insights.
Another is William Defoe, whose work I’ve been following for many months now as he explores his struggles and ideas on identity, suffering, truth, sexuality, and the work of finding a home in the world when the public stories by which others know us differ profoundly from the private stories.
What William is doing, it seems to me, is an act of real generosity – describing from the inside the experience of discovering, anew, how to live. I found this recent post, on his deepening understanding of the inseparability of his mind and body, both moving and courageous, particularly when read in the light of earlier posts that recount the story of his awakening understanding of himself as a gay Catholic man inside a long-term marriage. I know there are many people in the world who’d be greatly supported by knowing that they’re not alone in the questions William is exploring.
As well as the writers above I’ve also been following educator Parker Palmer and musician Amanda Palmer (as far as I know they’re not related) who both have so much to say, in very different ways, about our tenuous, beautiful existence as human beings.
There are of course many millions of other people doing the work of writing, exploring, and making themselves vulnerable and available – to all of our benefit – by teaching us through what and how they write.
And as this year ends, I’m keenly aware of what a privilege it is to live in a time where it’s possible to write and share ideas and experience so freely and so widely.