Maybe it was the dystopian solitude of lockdown, but last spring spawned my wild poking of new and old friends alike – roping them into random conversations about the future.
Was it madness? Loneliness? A cynical attempt at network-building? Probably some of all those things. Plus our old friends ego, death and the futility of existence: obvs.
But what really sat behind all this was two questions: How do you see the world? Are you human too?
Weird, I know. But it turns out I’m deeply curious about uncertainty and the different ways we relate (or don’t) to people and planet.
The result was The pessimist’s guide to a hopeful future podcast (now steadily seeping into your socialz). Here I interview people I admire doing purposeful things. Like Mark Ormond, Tamma Carel (PIEMA, MSc, BSc) and now Laurence Shorter – the lazy guru, in the latest episode.
‘I, for whatever accident of fate, have developed a very high tolerance of ambiguity. And I’m able to tightrope walk a little bit more than most people, I’m able to improvise. And so when I’m in a room with a group of people… something opens up.’
While indulging my haphazard interrogation, Laurence (a seeker, speaker and coach) shows himself to be masterfully sage and light-hearted. He’s a thoughtful torch to those questions that still shadow my odd, solitary little brain.
Maybe you ponder them too… Would you like to be a fellow traveller?
If so, give my latest episode a listen now.
‘What I love is the imagination… I want to have more fun… I’ve left truth behind me as a thing to talk about, and I’m just living it. I think that that’s a great way to sum this up. I’d just like to be it and not have to talk about it.
‘I would love to be much more liberated from the need for meaning. I’d like to be free. That’s my goal.’