Curiosity Defeats Skepticism and I Win

Posted by Alicia Farrell Share Your Voice

It took less than three minutes for skepticism to take over and decide that i.e. rva was a joke. I scanned the website and quickly compiled a list of reasons why this was anything but a collaborative community, including a mysterious vibe about the organization’s purpose, a lack of information about the event, and a $125 ticket price.

No way I was going.

The soft, touchy-feely side of collaboration that scares many people and companies away thrills me because I have experienced the hard, measurable side of getting greater results. The awkward conversations and sometimes even more awkward activities that cultivate collaboration’s foundation of self-awareness, self-management, and awareness of others have fostered happiness and success in my life.

Each time I checked their website, i.e. rva shocked me by announcing event speakers that I knew. Not only people that I knew of through gossip or Twitter, but people I had face-to-face interactions with and had deemed, “cool”.

This eventually lead to curiosity defeating skepticism, and me walking from my downtown apartment to La Diff for i.e. rva’s kick off event. The day was packed with Richmonders sharing their stories of creativity, collaboration, innovation and success.

At the end of the day, I walked away with these simple thoughts:

People who do good work and make a positive impact in this world act, work, and live from the simplest expressions of their being. They don’t follow a path built by a predecessor or society, they create a new path directed by their passions and values.

I’ve come to believe when we relate to each other from the roles we fill, expectations of others, and “what we are”, injustice, hatred, violence, death, and poverty (of wealth and love) are the results, regardless of our intentions. And, the interactions that breed hope, peace, prosperity and love happen when we see each other as equals, or simply, “we are.” My hippie philosophy may seem touchy-feely, and it was confirmed at the end of the day when my group talked about Richmond’s greatest opportunity. And words like sexism and ageism came up as barriers to collaboration, innovation and making our city better.

It takes guts to leave this world a better place than how we found it. Talent, a great mind, and a good heart are worthless if not paired with vulnerability.



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