At the airport on the way back from the North American Art of Hosting Practitioners Gathering in Columbus, Ohio, I saw this magazine title and it stirred up a musical memory—a poem I used to do as spoken word, mixed with music, when Marc Durkee and I had a band together. The track, called Switch It On, was about how what we are looking for is already inside ourselves. We spend lots of energy looking outside—but if we turned inward, we might switch on what's already there.
Ten years later, the songwriting I used to do is a signpost to what's still most important to my life's work, and I can see that now. Though it's put to music, this applies perfectly to the work we share. What if all the most pervasive challenges we face in the world—in our communities and organizations and movements—are less about external shortfalls and more about what we're missing, person to person? How can we switch on the full potential of what we already have? Welcome to big-hearted systems change, folks.
Walk through the mirage
Onto solid ground
What if it’s been there all along?
And we just never switched it on?
Sensing the future with sonar sound
Cutting the path
Being the pavers
Removing the layers
Peeling back reality
To the feelin’ inside of me
Of future generations calling us on
The wind in the sails of a ship in a storm
Waves from behind
Echoes in mind
This itchin’ ain’t fleas
It’s the future coming in on the breeze.