“The story of the Human race is the story of Men and Women selling themselves short” – Abraham Lincoln.
Speaking for Invest Gainsborough last night, to a brilliant and engaged audience in a beautiful venue – we explored this idea that we have more potential than we are realising – in the way we think, feel and behave – as people, companies or as communities.
So this morning as I set off on the long train journey home I was more aware of the people around me than I often am – and I found myself reflecting on what I was feeling as I shared my journey with this collection of unique souls.
Travelling by train is interesting…. You stop, you wash into people, and soak up a little bit of their energy, philosophy and personality.
Overhearing conversations with people who you would never normally meet…
Feeling the ego of the man who is trying to entertain the people around him in the carriage. Or the pain of the older lady who just can’t see anything good in life. Feeling the enthusiasm of the other lady who is her exact same age, yet has a completely different attitude and optimism. Seeing the cliches that you didn’t know actually existed – you thought they were only cliches.
Rubbing up against the people you like and the people you don’t like. Interacting with the people you would normally avoid. Sitting physically closer to strangers than you normally do every day… Being humbled by your small insignificant size, opinions and problems in the mass and melee of humanity.
Seeing peoples real struggles up close. Seeing the small moment-by-moment bad decisions they make. Seeing the things that make them smile or get frustrated. Seeing those you think are worse off than you. And those you think are better off than you.
… And it’s all just a game. None of it matters. But all of it matters. Everyone is living their own dramatic, calm, passionate, painful, happy, sad lives. All separately… But on that train for 50 minutes – all altogether.