“How lovely to think that no one need wait a moment; we can start now, start slowly changing the world! How lovely that everyone, great and small, can make their contribution toward introducing justice straightaway… and you can always, always give something, even if it is only kindness!” – The Diary of Anne Frank
All starting points are equally valid; they begin where they are. This particular one is a new beginning for a group of students at Bainbridge Graduate Institute (BGI), Cohort 11, and me with them. Another two-year journey towards an MBA in Sustainable Business is beginning, and I am feeling the excitement of the start. This first face-to-face weekend resembles a bazaar in the Middle East – talks and laughter, smiles and hugs, confusion of being in a new place, attention that is being pulled into many directions at once, people who know each other and others just beginning to find their way, and everything that appears to be happening at once with no way to being able to grasp it all.
Though, perhaps, this weekend was not the actual beginning for them. Perhaps it started earlier, this summer, at Channel Rock, which is a retreat on Cortes Island, where the students come for an orientation to BGI and the program. Those 5 days become a rich and deep experience, memorable for years into the future. Perhaps this is where it started. At least, this is where we all met each other first time face-to-face, as a group.
Maybe it was even further back in their lives, when the word “sustainability” crossed their vocabulary first. Perhaps when they thought, for the first time, about our collective future, and whether we are going to have one if we humans don’t change our ways – drastically and soon. And decided to do something about it. And then stumbled upon BGI, whether through an ad, a conversation with a friend, following an online link, or in some other mysterious way the Universe seems to have no shortage of.
“Genuine beginnings begin within us, even when they are brought to our attention by external opportunities.” – William Bridges
And, perhaps, it is not about a particular beginning at all. There can be many beginnings to the same thing in one’s life, be it an MBA degree, a relationship, or a new career. Each one has its way of calling our attention to the next unfolding of the moment, the next possibility that is gently knocking on our door, the next whisper of fate. Perhaps it is about the future, the next step, the unfolding of ideas, possibilities, dreams, and visions. Perhaps the path ahead simply consists of many new little beginnings. Now. Again. And again.