A few weeks ago, I went to hear David Cunningham, a particularly spectacular speaker and Landmark Forum leader, give a talk. I was awestruck by how much he moved me. People around me were sobbing pretty much the whole way through and my best friend and I were sitting next to each other trying not to do the same.
Quick side note: I’ve mentioned Landmark Education in my writing before, but I’ve been careful not to push the education in this blog. The truth is, much of what I question and then write about stems from my training and work through the organization, but the fact that I am a Landmark Forum graduate does not define me, nor what I create. However, I don’t think this post would make much sense if I didn’t give you at least a little background about it. So I’ll say this—a little over a year ago, before I took the forum and a few additional courses, my world was very different then it is right now. The education I’ve received has absolutely transformed my life. Someday, I’ll write a post in greater depth about this, but for now, just know it’s something that has really helped me and that’s why I continue to go to see Forum leaders like David speak.
David tells stories with such enthusiasm and grace, it’s impossible not to connect with the man. He talked about creating a new relationship with his father after years of five minutes phone conversations every three months about the weather and golf. He talked about losing his partner to AIDS in the 80’s, and how he’d somehow found the courage to ask his father to help him take care of his partner before he died.
Then, he specifically addressed the Landmark Forum graduates in the room and told us that he knew our lives had gotten better through the work we’d done and that they would continue to get better. At this point, I choked up, but my composure was still intact. Everything he had to say was profound and emotional and heartfelt, but what really made me lose it was something so simple.
At the beginning of the night, David thanked everyone for coming and mentioned that he was grateful we were there. Honestly, I barely heard him say that. But, his last words at the end of the night went something like this:
“You can tell I had a great night right? That I had fun and really enjoyed our time together? (We all nodded.) Well, it would not have been great if you all were not here. In fact, it would have been pretty stupid if I’d stood here and talked to nobody. My stories, what I have to say, mean nothing if there is no one to listen. So when I told you all earlier that I was grateful you were here—that’s why. I had the night I had because of you.”
That was it. I lost it. Here’s why:
I have no idea how many people are currently reading my blog. I know some of you are faithful readers and some of you may just be starting to read it. My hope is that my writing will inspire my readers, and effect change, and be shared with others. Whether that will happen through this blog or through another platform, remains to be seen. But my thoughts, my stories, mean nothing without you.
I’ve spoken before about my love for writing this blog, but I’m not sure I’ve been crystal clear about why I write it in the past. I write it for you and I write it for me. I write it with the hope that it some small way it will help others realize their greatest life. I write it because it reminds me that I can make a difference in other people’s lives. I write it because it reminds me to have humility and to be myself. I write it because of the nights I have because of it.
Thank you, dear readers. I’m so grateful you’re here.