Conversations For Transformation: Essays Inspired By The Ideas Of Werner Erhard

Conversations For Transformation

Essays By Laurence Platt

Inspired By The Ideas Of Werner Erhard

And More

Listening For Greatness

McDonald's, Napa, California, USA

August 21, 2018

"My notion about service is that service is actually that kind of relationship in which you have a commitment to the person. Now I don't mean to the person's body or to the person's personality or to the person's stomach or to the person's almost anything. What I mean in fact is that for me what service is about is being committed to the other being, to the other person spiritually, to who the person is. Now the problem with that is that to the degree that you are in fact committed to the other person you are only as valuable as how you can deal with the other person's stuff, their evidence, their manifestation, and that's what service is all about. Service is about knowing who the other person is, and being able to tolerate giving space to their garbage. What most people do is to give space to people's quality and deal with their garbage. Actually, you should do it the other way around. Deal with who they are and give space to their garbage. Keep interacting with them as if they were God. And every time you get garbage from them, give space to the garbage and go back and interact with them as if they were God."
"Who you mean when you say 'I' is not you. It's just something that shows up for you."
This essay, Listening For Greatness, is the ninth in an nonet on Listening: I am indebted to Aaron Bartlett and to Adam Quiney and to Andrew Goetz and to Anna Taglieri and to Barbara Hawes Caldwell and to Barry Colton and to Bruce Miller and to Cathy Elliott and to Curtis Dady and to Don Sullivan and to Donovan Copley and to Dusan Djukich and to Eric Edberg and to Geoff Heise and to George Richvalsky and to George Swan and to Gerard "Father Gerry" O'Rourke and to Gopal Rao and to Gordon Murray and to Ian Becker and to Jack Rafferty and to James "Jim" Tsutsui and to JeanneLauree Olsen and to Joan "Joani" Culver and to Johan van der Put and to John Taylor and to Joseph "Joe" Kempin and to Josh Cohen and to Judy Golden and to Kathleen Morris and to Ken Ireland to and to Kimile "Kimmi" Pendleton and to Lawrence Gerald and to Lebogang "Lebo" Montewa and to Loretta Warner and to Mandy van der Put and to Marcus Hobbs and to Mark Holden and to Mark Krauss and to Maxine Mandel Potts and to Nancy Scott and to Nassrin Haghighat and to Palmer Kelly and to Patricia "Pat" Shelton and to Peter Fiekowsky and to Philip Tokmak and to Reg Leonard and to Robert Cid and to Ron Mann and to Sally Morrison and to Scott Andrews and to Scott Forgey and to Steve Zaffron and to Valerie Hawes and to Wednesday Reynolds-Wilcox and to Yaduvendra "Yadu" Mathur who inspired this conversation.

The postulate ie the central assertion of this conversation, is revealed by asking the question "What is it to be great?". This is a conversation about greatness. There are two facets to this. The first facet is teased out by asking the question "When you're being great, where does your greatness show up?". That's the first facet. The second facet is teased out by asking the question "When I say to you 'You're great!', what is that 'great' (ie that being  'great') to which I refer?".

I propose the following: what it is to be great, is to be who you really are. Period. And where does your greatness show up when you're being great? And the answer is "In my ears.".

That's what there is to be clear about. What it is to be great is to speak from who you really are, so that it lands clearly in my listening. That, and when we're listening for greatness, exactly what is this greatness for which we're listening? If I say "You're great!" and you say "Wow! He thinks 'I' am great!", is your "I" what I'm listening for when I say "You're great!"? No it's not your "I" ie your "me" I'm listening for, a distinction with which your "I" ie your "me" may struggle with at first.

[... being continued ...]

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