Getting as Close to the Truth as Possible 

I’m prepping for the shortest talk I’ve given in a long time.

Probably about 8 minutes for me and the same for my sister. I just spoke for 6 hours in one day last week so this should be easy. But it could also become one of the more important talks I give. Or not. Who knows. Maybe just knowing it TEDx makes it feel bigger than it is. But what I do know is we have rewritten this talk more than any other piece I’ve ever worked on.

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It wasn’t until yesterday that we finalized what we want to say, or at least what we want to convey. The words are still coming even as we prep for our first rehearsal in 7 hours. The reason for the changes has not be laziness or pickiness or undue scrutiny. This. Is. Hard.
As my very wise younger brother said after we gave him a dry run, some 10 versions ago “you need to get as close the truth as possible.” The truth.

Our truth has changed so much in the last few months it’s kind of striking. When we submitted the application, my sister and I were both working corporate jobs with missions we could no longer believe in, I was living in a HOUSE (like a non-airstream house), and our grandfather has been admitted to the hospital the week before my other brothers wedding. All our expectations of spending time on this perfect application went out the window. The day it was due, with not even a word on the page, we asked each other if we should just try again next year….or throw something together before midnight. An hour before the deadline we submitted something impassioned about the workplace that I did like, but hardly recognize today.

So here we are…. so many versions, a new lifestyle, and two corporate jobs quit later, trying to find the truth, and tell the truth, at the same time.
The truth about the world cannot be said in under 18 minutes. Nor can what we want to tell it. So you have to make decisions:
What would you say if no one heard it?

What would you say if everyone heard it?

If those things aren’t the same, why not?

What does the world need to hear?

What do I wish I had heard sooner?
Who are you speaking to? Should you ignore the other 97% if 3% are changed by what you say?
These are the questions that keep floating around my head and are just now making their way to paper. Nothing is resolved, which I suppose means maybe this won’t be our last talk.
Here goes.

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