Every action has its starting point. Before a walk, or any other endeavour, it is worth taking a moment to consider our starting points.
Sometimes we are very aware of our starting points — we only may have decided to act after an extended period of reflection and analysis — but at other times our motivation may emerge from a fleeting feeling or even a deep seated resentment that we are not fully conscious of.
Starting points matter. They set the tone for everything that comes after. The more complex an activity is the more sensitive it is to the initial conditions. Crucially, understanding our own and each others’ starting points provides the basis for communication and collaboration.
Pretty much every time I’ve reviewed a project I have wished I had started earlier in the process and had not made so many assumptions about the starting points of the other participants.
Every moment comes with its own starting point — a seed of development that we often ignore or fail to see. A feature of ‘Walks in Development’ is that they can open us up to the possibilities inherent in each moment. We may experience moments of clarity and connection that help us understand who we are. They may not be as dramatic as, for example, the moment of deep connection to all of humanity that led the philsopher Bertrand Russell into a lifelong commitment to pacifism, but they are important. We can choose our starting points and these choices matter.
So, let’s consider our starting points: What is it that has led us to this moment? Where would we like to start from?
I suggest that we reflect on (and feel free to share) the moments that have most meaning to us. Perhaps if we describe our starting points they can become an entry point to others and make it easier for us to find that place of creative alignment that makes true collaboration possible?
As a next step on our journey we might like to describe moments that have been starting points for us. Perhaps we’ve had a moment of realisation when we became aware we were more capable than before, or had an idea or an experience that set us off on a new stage of our life’s path?
A final question: Can a stop become a starting point?