The bird and its call make an appearance during significant moments in my life.
On the day of my wedding, I was in the Presidio in San Francisco with my eldest brother. We decided to grab a quick bite to eat and take a walk on Crissy Field while everyone was getting ready. As we were walking through the Eucalyptus trees on the way to Crissy, I heard a dove cooing high up in the gum trees. The sounds calmed my nerves and reminded me of my family who weren’t with me that day.
The other time, I was with my other brother in Lafayette Park in San Francisco. We were waiting for some life-changing news and decided to take a walk to do something while we waited on the results. We were standing at the top of the park and looking down towards Sacramento Street when I heard a dove cooing. A couple of minutes later, I received a good news text from my wife that changed my life forever.
The other day I was dropping my youngest son off at school. We’d been away for a while, so it was his first day back, and the drop off went badly. He was crying his lungs out as I walked away from him and left him in the capable hands of the teachers. I felt awful. As I walked home, I heard a dove cooing on the quiet street. I took a deep breath and calmed down. Whenever I’m at my son’s school now, I listen for the dove watching over the school.
If you listen carefully, you can hear mother nature whispering to you. Next time listen, look, and be still.
“Out beyond the ideas of right-doing and wrongdoing, there is a field I will meet you there. It’s the world full of things to talk about.”
Imagine this clip wasn’t about sport. Imagine it was about academics and encouraging a young kid at school. It’s a little hazy now but I can’t recall ever hearing a teacher talking like this to me or anyone else when I was at school.
Marry someone who believes in you, work for people who believe in you. Then pay it forward and make sure your kids or young people in particular hear that you believe in their potential.
If you want to make new friends or nurture existing relationships, then find shared interests. Shared interests create shared experiences and shared memories. Find communities that work and play together.
Suburban America is compartmentalized into McMansions, high fences, and car friendly neighborhoods. Suburban America is not a healthy garden to grow a community. People have everything they want at their fingertips but are still isolated and lonely. When last did you have a conversation with your neighbors or fellow tenants?
The good news is that concentrated urbanization is trending and housing legislation is adapting. Sadly tech hubs like San Francisco have been slow to adjust and will see an exodus of young people and families looking for more affordable living arrangements and better public services.
Individually owned cars will be a legacy mode of transporting and will be surpassed by communal ownership and various forms of public transport. Public transportation like trains is a leading indicator of growth in new companies. More trains in cities equate to more successful startups. Sci-fi novels are pretty good at telling the future, and most of them envisage dense cityscapes, and that is full of skyscrapers.
We see the same trend in farming. We will do more with less space as people urbanized. The Netherlands is the world’s second-largest exporter of food as measured by value, second only to the US, which has 270 times its landmass.
Healthy communities depend on each other, are compassionate and look out for their neighbors. More and more people will migrate to these megacities and sadly away from family. The community will become their family over time…any immigrant knows this from personal experience. Compartmentalized America is in for a nasty surprise as these trends start to accelerate. Adapt now and start exercising your community muscle.
There are certain towns and cities that are welcoming and growing. The place immediately hits the right notes and I feel a familiar frequency resonate through my bones.
These places have a common theme: the citizens have chosen to live there or move there. There’s an abundance mindset and an air of optimism. The assumption is that people are default good and there’s more than enough to go round. I can almost hear them saying ‘Come on in, the water is great!’ Uprooting their lives and moving to a new place takes guts…it’s scary. A trait among newcomers is that they overcame the fear of the unknown and took the plunge. Those are the kinds of gutsy, courageous and welcoming people I encounter.
The opposite are places where people feel trapped or locked in. There’s a scarcity mindset. People are holding on tight to what they’ve got, its unwelcoming and unfriendly. Strangers aren’t welcome and the default assumption is that new people are here to take and not contribute. I suppose that dying or failing companies are the same way.
It’s a consistent pattern wherever I go. Are people living or working there because they choose to, or are they trapped or too fearful to leave?
Listen to your gut. The next time you get the scarcity mindset feeling, it’s worth exploring. It’s a big red flag about the core constituency of any place.