I have some real bad news. Those of us who are not at the IABC World Conference in Toronto this week are officially, and maybe permanently, out of step with people who we heretofore considered our peers.
Last night's conference-opening keynote session transformed the crowd into an army of cultural, intellectual and emotional African superheroes.
"In parts of Africa, communities gather in the village center to play music before vital decisions are made," according to the material promoting the session, put on by a group of drummers called Drum Cafe. "The music creates a sense of belonging and unity, fostering more effective decision-making."
That's right. Today you and I are actually making poorer decisions than our betters, who also learned "diversity in thought" by slapping and clapping to the beat of this drumming crew!
And we're limited in so many other ways, too. Because while we were making Sunday dinner, the drummers (through their drumming) showed conference-goers "how to listen, play to the same beat, explore techniques to recover and grow as a team, and recognize your unique voice and contributions."
While we read the funny papers, a big chunk of our profession was giving themselves over to "demonstrating passion and energy, and taking growth to a new level" and celebrated their "energy, colleagues and accomplishments." Were we among the colleagues they rhythmically celebrated? I highly doubt it.
While we folded laundry, they were learning how to "build community" and "transcend traditional barriers such as hierarchy, gender, culture and geography to ensure open communication."
I'd like to be at next year's IABC show, but it's going to be hard to face these supermen and überwomen, these diverse-thinking, effective decision-making, listening, exploring, recovering, growing, recognizing, celebrating, building, transcendental open communicommandos!
Drum Cafe, for the love of music, don't leave us behind!!!!!!!