Adam Fleming went along with the arts and music team this year as a writer. His assignment was to watch, think, help, ask questions and write. It’s been amazing to see this unfold. Here is part one of a series of blog posts he will write over the next week that we will excerpt from and link to.

A bit of background: a number of Dandelion Seed Company members are currently in Thailand as part of a team that is providing art, music and some teaching on the arts for an annual conference of people who throughout the year live scattered across continents. Over the last few years a friendship has grown between the artists of the DSC and these amazing people who are working for transformation in creative ways in their communities.

Adam writes…

The beginning of relationship is recognition of the other.

There is a sense, when we have heard of someone else through a friend, of anticipation, so that when meeting that person in real life, we find an element of joy in recognizing someone.

I have seen this happen twice in the past 24 hours. . .


It occurs to me now that there are various levels of recognition. I’ve blogged about artist John Koenig’s work on the concept of sonder recently, which is the experience of recognizing that each passerby has a life as intricate and complex as our own. Sonder brings us only to the beginning of recognition. Sonder is to notice those around you in a new way. Noticing is okay. . .


So as we begin this conference, we begin by recognizing each other: the names we’ve only associated through pictures, or friends, or the internet, people we’re excited to finally meet as well as the recognition of old friends walking through the door. Soon our friends Jerimae and Karen will arrive, and I’m excited to see them. But I also was welcomed by the leader of the organization which hosts this conference this morning. “Adam and Megan Fleming,” he said, “I’m so glad you could come. I’m sure we’ll talk more later, but I just wanted to tell you I’m glad you’re here.” That would have been so easy for him NOT to do. But this is a key leadership principle: you have to recognize people. You have to acknowledge sonder, you have to pick people out of a lineup, you have to rejoice in meeting people you’ve only heard tell of, you have to even more rejoice in the successes of others around you. Do this, and you’re on the way to leading.

Read the whole post HERE.