For weeks. Days. Hours. She thought, considered and reconsidered this step. She’d been working for five years in the law firm, and now she was tired of the life she had, of her profession. She’d decided to quit. It was the moment to do it, for they were going to promote her to partner in a week. Now or never.
So she did. She went first to the director’s office. Tell her story and quit. Then she went to the offices of all the people, all those lawyers, she’d ever had any contact during her years in the firm. To say good bye. But she was not prepared to what she encountered in those short visits.
In every office. With every colleague. She started telling her story. A story that didn’t have an end, for her future is undecided, unplanned, unchartered. Her thoughts accumulating, disorganised in the blending excitement of fear, hope, doubt and illumination. Expecting a conventional farewell. A worrying remark. Or even a rejection against her irresponsibility of leaving the certainty of a well-paid job. She approached the door quickly after her talk. Yet, responding words were not the ones expected. Although some were simply courteous, most were caring and encouraging. And many were full of yearning for the courage she was showing. Many were internally desiring to take the same step, but they were not allowed to express it, until she entered their offices. Like her, they were also longing for a more meaningful life. Unlike her, they didn’t have the courage to make it real.
This is a real story. Something that happened to a friend of mine not very long ago. She is now finding herself again. I invited her to the Social Innovation Spiral, the foundation of an emerging community of social innovators and entrepreneurs in Barcelona. She came and she adored it. She, I, nobody knows where she’s, we’re, going. There is no certainty about her, our, destination or even the path she’s, we’re, going to follow in the immediate future. Notwithstanding, she faces the future with the audacity of a real social entrepreneur, because she told me “the really courageous thing would have been to stay where I was, for there, I was really suffering”.
Now, you can also join us in the next Social Innovation Spiral in Barcelona, La Pedrera, 20 January 2011.