I’ve been revisiting the writing on ‘Togetherness – Otherness’ today, writing about fracture. It’s been a fractured week: my attention has been fragmented and partial, everything feels incomplete. So it was with some surprise that i found i liked the direction that the writing was taking.
This work will explore how we are together, and how we are apart, which may seem very ephemeral, but in fact is about the most real thing we feel as social humans.
For all our talk of inclusion, the experience of our social lives includes the lived experience of the ‘other’, of being apart. Either by omission or design: we may make people into the ‘other’ on purpose, or simply by coming together in a place that they are not.
There is something about safety and comfort, about familiarity. Something about similarity. I know Organisations talk about ‘shared purpose’, but that is a abstraction. Something we may articulate when the foundations are there. Although i find people parrot it back when describing community, what they typically then go on to describe are features not of purpose, but of safety, of space, of identity and belonging.
I have captured this imperfectly in the language of coherence: a trait that some communties have. They become coherent, in that they find a connected strength. And with coherence maybe we can find purpose, but it is not the base layer, not the foundation.
This is early stage work, and i will continue to #WorkOutLoud to share it as it develops. I hope it will ultimately form a sequel to ‘The Humble Leader’, but we shall see. Some ideas burn into books, and others are just a simple idea, which is articulated and done.