When Content is Beside the Point

I do a lot of work in professional/personal development.
Attend seminars, participate in workshops, take courses.
Part continuing education/part hobby.
I have a theory about these programs.
Regardless of the content, if you put people together in a room
and get them to feel something,
Everyone leaves having gotten his/her money’s worth.
We say we want to learn something,
But we really want to feel something.
Education is cheap; genuine emotion is much, much harder to come by.
Last weekend, I took a course with people just like me.
“A life coach. That’s interesting.”
Said the convicted felon and former enforcer for the Gangster Disciples.
“Tell me about being a life coach.”
When it was his turn to talk,
I was tremendously moved and inspired,
not by what he does, but by who he is.
A person who got complete with his past.
Owns it, but doesn’t let it define him.
Who, in the space created by that completion,
leveraged his greatest asset,
the integrity of his word,
and placed it powerfully between inmates and the legal system.
A place where trust and talk fit perfectly.
Education is cheap, sometimes talk is too.
And feeling will always carry the day.

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