A few days ago I stumbled upon a video with Gary Weber, and it made me think about a simple fact: presence is the simplest and most powerful way of showing ecoism.
And I want to share this gift, this presence with you.
What is ecoism?
I introduced this concept at a conference in 2016, and then I wrote publicly for the first time about it in 2018.
Ecoism is overcoming the duality between egoism and altruism. It means that when I act ecoistically I’m not acting for a personal benefit or for an altruistic aim, I’m not perceiving the separation between me and you anymore. Because there are no separate parts, I act for the benefit of the superordinate system in which I and you are together.
It’s like the exchange between the heart and the lungs. Of course, they are two separate organs, but the oxygen and the blood that flow through them are flowing for the benefit of one of the two organs and for the sustainability of the whole body. So it would be weird thinking about the heart pumping blood egoistically or altruistically, like it would be weird thinking about the lungs pumping oxygen egoistically or altruistically.
In the same way we can overcome this duality in the human interactions we have.
Ecoism is possible only if we loose the attachment to our ego.
It means that we need to embrace the awareness of being an individual and the system itself. Not being just part of the system, but being a manifestation of the system. Being the system that manifests through what I call “me”.
And, paraphrasing Gary Weber, as soon as you loose the attachment to your ego, something paradoxical happens: you start receiving benefits for yourself.
So, I go to meetings and I am the only person in the room who is actually there for the whole meeting. Everybody else is off someplace else for ten, twenty, thirty, forty percent of the meeting doing something else. And so you look like the smartest person in the room even if you weren’t, just because you were there the whole time. […] You just read the information before you come to the meeting, prepare yourself so you’re ready to do something in a meeting and just sit there and listen to the meeting fully present. And lo and behold something comes up that is so much more synchronistic, creative, innovative than anything I could have thought of myself. […] And it turns out to be one of those “that’s-really-fantastic-how-do-you-think-of-that-thing”!
The thing that struck me most is that there is no complicated formula to reach this kind of contribution, but a simple point: presence.
Being present means being able to focus on what’s happening in the here and now. Not being distracted by your thoughts, your emotions, your concerns for the future or your brood for the past.
It’s a simple thing, but not an easy one.
We have grown up in a society that focuses on the individual more than on the context.
The way we act reflects an education system that nurtures fear and individualism more than openness and care for each other. Collective growth and sharing are suppressed by a working system focused on individual performances utilizing war jargon of conquering and separating.
Were you attracted by “you look like the smartest person in the room” thinking? If so, it’s normal. Thinking is rooted sometimes in toxic soil, watered by dirty water and under the shadow of skyscrapers instead of under the light of a warm sun. But once you notice where your attention is pulled you reclaim your agency.
And we can start walking and moving to another way of living our life.
This is my present for you.
May the next year be the year when all of us embrace being. Just being. Presence. Your full attention and energy focused on being alert and alive to all possibilties.
A special thanks to Stelio Verzera, Dawna Jones and Andoni Malaxechevarria who devoted their presence to review this article before the publication.
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