Engagement we're told is a positive sign that someone or something is listening: the odd Facebook like, the non-existent +1 on Google+ and the few comments on blogs.
Even those people who've made their internet mark -- Godin, Babauta, Doctorow and a slew of others -- must wonder though if, for all their outpouring, anyone is truly listening. Oh, I suspect, in typical 'we are writers' fashion, they don't care a damn; but I'm not sure I buy that.
Take Godin's idea behind Tribes or the video that is much lauded by Derek Sivers (who I admire). Perhaps it's my microscopic worldview, but I don't see a whole heap of change in this country (the United Kingdom), nor do I read about or witness a revolution in the United States, particularly as regards the workplace. Of course, this is no different to the political class or the Church. Both are suffering a decline in membership.
Perhaps it is that we've all woken up to the fact that the mantras of old are imbued with a moribund sense of what's right, wrong or best for us. In a nutshell, we're much more cynical now, particularly where someone is trying to espouse a message that seems completely self serving.
My point really is that we all know that things should be different -- ‘better’ different of course -- but even with the best will in the world and a plethora of well-meaning writers, speakers and Gurus (how I loathe that term), I don't see change on the scale that's going to make a scintilla of difference.
In fact, as I see it, we all know what we should be doing but we're not doing it:
being kinder to ourselves and others
consuming less, growing more
being thoughtful in all we do
living at peace with who we are
And yet, call it fear or indifference, we seem content with the status quo. (When I use the word content, I don't mean to suggest that we can't change or haven’t made some change, but instead we're resigned to never living a life true to who we are.)
The next time you read something that leaves an impression or better still inspires you to do something, it behoves all of us not to let that moment pass; but more than that, to acknowledge that growing and developing is never easy but we should embrace everything this life has to offer instead of running scared...all the time.