Convergent – \kən-ˈvər-jənt\ – Adjective: tending to move toward one point or to approach each other. EX: A tornado is powered by convergent airflow.
This week showed me the power of convergent community; a group of individuals moving toward a single point while at the same time moving toward one another. Merriam-Webster’s reference above to the power of a tornado is absolutely fitting. In a time where so much seems to divide us, I am grateful for the opportunity to see the impact when community unites us.
It all started with a simple blog post by William Mohaupt: St. Petersburg, Florida. Most people blog because they love to write. Writing for the pleasure of others is stressful and intimidating, but writing for your own joy is liberating and empowering. So was the story here, when William wrote about his recent trip to Florida and posted it to his virtual portfolio on WordPress. For a few days, his readership came in ones and twos like all new bloggers. Then on the fourth day his readership spiked into the hundreds. Days five and six continued to grow exponentially and his post blew past the one thousand reader mark. Today, twelve days later, his post has been viewed by more than 3,000 people!
A quick Google search will show that most bloggers are happy to have 200 views in a day. New bloggers often go a full year with fewer than 50 views a day. The blog you are reading has a good day when 40 viewers stop by. For those of us dedicated to sharing, the metrics are second to the purpose behind the content. That said, seeing how far your writing can reach is a powerful experience.
I find incredible encouragement and wisdom in posts by a young British blogger named Matt Kitson. While I’ve never met Matt, I am pretty sure of two things: 1) he and I are part of a convergent community dedicated to inspiring change, and 2) neither of us have seen 3,000 readers yet (MATT: My apologies if I’m wrong!). After seeing William’s post explode past 3,000 viewers, I couldn’t help but compare myself and wonder if my ‘good day at 40’ viewership was a sign of failure. Then one of Matt’s posts jumped into my head: Top Life Lessons I’ve learned from Arnold Schwarzenegger’s book. In this post, Matt summarized Arnold’s views on his blockbuster flop, ‘Last Action Hero.’ Using Arnold’s story, Matt shared the message that the, “world doesn’t care about your failure,” and instead we should look ahead to our future successes.
When we compare ourselves to others as a way to validate success or failure, we stop being part of the community. In the same way a tornado funnels into one point on the earth, all those who focus building a better future will one day converge and drive powerful change. Nobody counts the number of times we fail, or miss, or flop; the only metric that counts is the metric that shows we tried. Only those that never start are guaranteed never to see the finish line.
So where do all these pieces converge? William wrote his blog post on May 20th. I shared it with my ‘good day at 40’ followers on May 23rd, one of which happened to tag a restaurant discussed in William’s post. The social media person for that restaurant decided to reply to my post and re-post William’s blog on May 24th. 3,000 views later, the post keeps growing. I keep posting even when I doubt myself because of people like Matt who share wisdom from people like Arnold. My viewers grow, as do Matt’s, as do William’s. And in the end, our tornado will change the world.
“Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.” – Mohammad Ali