In Plato’s “Apology,” Socrates is reported to have said, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” In chapter 2 of West of Tomorrow, Clay Conover (the protagonist) is clearly taking Socrates’ aphorism literally.
As he squints through the lens of his camera at a stunning sunset over the Pacific, he reflects on recent events of his life. The arrival of Sheera Prasad, whom he must train is disturbing on multiple levels. As Lead Trainer at Halberstamm Leadership Group, it is his job to train her in the imprecise arts of organizational development, facilitation and instructional design.
Clay has a lot of experience with all three, so he’s highly qualified for the challenge. But as is sometimes the case, it’s not his responsibilities that pose the problem; it’s the contextual realities in which life has served them up. Clay is confronting four dilemmas, three obvious and a third not.
Then there’s Clay’s third dilemma. What shall he do about the nagging feeling he has that she’s hiding something? He realizes his misgivings may not be fair or accurate. At the same time, they’re never far from his mind. And what about Clay’s final problem? What happens if he acts on his attractions, despite his better judgment? It’s not hard to see why Clay might be conflicted.
The Insistent Whisper of Our Soul
Like Clay, most of us have gotten the memo. Life litters our path with challenges and pain. We all recognize these as part of life. But recognizing them is not the same as dealing with them. If we’re fortunate, thoughtful, attentive parents have cultivated healthy coping skills. They’ve armed us with a road map for processing our frequent disappointments, pain and loss, as well as (hopefully), constructive ways to channel our passions. A fortunate few of us find ourselves equal to most of it. Others of us get by with a little help from friends or spouses.
Half-an-hour West of Tomorrow
West of Tomorrow is a cross-genre work of corporate intrigue, betrayal, misplaced love and the phoenix living in all of us, now on sale on Amazon. In this contemporary tale, Dirk leverages his experiences as a retired marine officer, corporate trainer and district manager to bring us this thoughtful story of self-reinvention in our turbulent time of shifting paradigms and runaway change.