This Key is about a simple action you can take to change the world in small and big ways. As we look forward to a new year, we can each choose to shape in positive ways our experiences. The gift of living is being able to create and support those things you love. In this Key we look at a special power afforded to you because you are alive.
Please feel free to share the Key with friends, family and associates. We'll be glad to hear your comments. Sincerely,
You Can Be a Messiah
"Messiah" is the English pronunciation for the Hebrew word "Mashiach," which means "anointed," or being chosen for a task. Mashiach, when written the same but pronounced slightly differently, also means in Hebrew "is conversing."
Therefore, read the title to mean: "you can be conversing," and when you are conversing (massiach), you are a Messiah.
Many traditions and faiths anticipate the coming of the Savior-the Messiah. The narratives vary and conflict, but the themes of salvation, deliverance and ascension are more alike than different.
So, what holds the Messiah back? Here is a thought: Consider the idea that the Hebrew word for Messiah means also "is conversing."
- We don't listen. We don't listen to each other. We don't listen to ourselves.
- We are too crowded and full of noise in our heads. We cannot hear each other. We cannot hear inside.
- We don't converse. We don't create an open space for conversation. The Messiah has no place to show up.
The point is simple. You are a savior (messiah) to the situation you find yourself in when you are conversing. When you are not conversing, you are holding back the redemptive potential available in the situation you are in. You are blocking the conversation.
You ask: What is this to do with me and my life; with getting up in the morning; going to work; excelling in what I do; leading; searching to innovate, and providing for my family?
In a word: everything. This message has everything to do with your work and with your family.
What is the meaning of work?
If you wrote down 30 or 60 of your activities at work, you will quickly find they fall into two categories. These are the two main things we do at work: We create conversations, and we direct and take action. Creating conversations and connections among people, is the greater part. Most action taken is to help facilitate and create conversations. You help create the conversation that:
- Leads a problem to its solution
- Directs a demand to its fulfillment
- Brings a need to its realization
That is essentially what you do at work. That is the meaning of work. The market is a place to connect conversations. Show me a successful business, and I'll show you the conversations it serves effectively.
Whether you are in sales, customer service, R&D, procurement, supply chain, marketing, and management, I challenge you to find a critical aspect of your work that is not about answering a need, solving a problem, enabling demand fulfillment, helping find a remedy, or facilitating a change towards a desired state. If you are not doing one of these things, if you are not involved in one of these conversations; you are not helping your company and you are not helping yourself. These are the conversations of work. Creating these conversations is the meaning of work.
These are also the conversations of family. Family and love are about the conversations we have. "As a bird is known by its song so is the human by his conversation," said my teacher. Conversation is the essence of who we are.
What happens when you are conversing?
You wait and listen. You give and you receive. There is an exchange. You feel and sense. You seek to understand and appreciate. You build mutual understanding, respect, appreciation and trust. And you create a space to discover, to grow and to evolve together.
What doesn't happen when you are conversing?
You are not at war. You do not hate. You are not accusing and not blaming. When you are conversing you are not doing any of these things. You are not out to demolish or demean, deride or ruin. When you do these things you are not conversing.
Start a conversation today. Be a savior - a messiah. The messiah is a conversation.
Ask yourself, what is the conversation we need to have? What challenge can I help ease? What conversations am I here to help create? What is the conversation I am called to participate in?
Now it's your turn. Turn the key. Beginning a conversation literally means you become a messiah. Help others create the conversations that open new futures.
© Aviv Shahar