Community Fuels Humility

BenPress

FROM THE DESK OF BEN DAVIS
CONTENT & COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR
PLANT BASED WORLD CONFERENCE & EXPO

In last month’s blog post I felt called to share some thoughts on the feeling of attending events throughout the country where the leaders of the plant-based movement were gathering. I was struck by the palpable energy level and excitement accompanying the awareness that this effort is reaching a tipping point.

While on one level there seemed to be an abundance of reasons to celebrate, the enthusiasm was accompanied by a deep sense of responsibility. This notion that we, as change makers and influencers within this rapidly evolving food system, must tap into our inner guidance to ensure the world we want to create in the future is in line with the tasks and priorities we fill our calendars and agendas with today.

Full transparency – I began writing these thoughts without a clear picture on what I was trying to express, and I cut my blog post short just in time to hop on a plane to attend and speak at the Reducetarian Summit in D.C. It was there that my friend and Foundation President Brian Katemen announced the theme of the Summit to be “humility”. And this simple, yet deeply meaningful gesture on Brian’s part helped connect the dots!

As I pondered the theme of humility throughout the weekend in D.C. I began to find some clarity on this sense of responsibility I had been feeling all month.

Could it be humility is our responsibility? If we truly want to participate in the creation of a better world, it is first important to acknowledge that our own vision for what we want the world to look like can only be as good as our own limited perspective. But this is easier said than done… we often feel so passionate and empowered by our beliefs, particularly when they are paired with an honest intention to have a positive impact. It is in these moments we are most likely to believe my way is the best or only way and force our views on others, while in truth we do not have full picture of the situation. And even though this can feel like a noble effort, it’s inherent flaw of incompleteness will time and time again stand in the way of productivity and progress.

So how then do we embody humility in this effort? How do we lay down our egos even when we feel so strongly that we are right and have all the answers?

As I sat with this new question, what came to me was community. It is through community that we find our humility. If I am to truly lean in to my community and recognize the varying backgrounds, diverse perspectives and unique ideas of those around me, how can I possibly maintain the belief that I have all the answers? Community forces us to open up. It gives us an opportunity to be vulnerable in front of our peers… a chance to say “I have an idea!” while also welcoming feedback on that idea, because it is more useful for my idea to be improved upon than it is to be right.

Community fuels humility because when we gather together and lay down our mental defenses we see that each and every one of us has our own vision. But perhaps truth is not found within any individual perspective. Perhaps truth is found outside the mind and inside the common goal that we share of living in a better world – a world that works, for ALL beings. And we come together, time and time again, to connect our hearts and fine tune our ability to see a truth that is flowing through us all at all times, yet can only be felt when we step outside ourselves and into something greater that we can all contribute to.

So thank you all for being a part of this growing community. Your thoughts, ideas and visions are welcome here, and we cannot wait to continue to expand our tribe in NYC next June and again at the recently announced Plant Based World Europe – launching October of 2020 in London! Stay tuned for fresh content each month and feel free to reach out to me at any time!

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