This past week, I spent time reviewing and reading the books that Bryan gifted to me over the years. There were many books–many gifts. I came across a quote that felt appropriate to share today as it reminded me so much of Bryan.
There is a method for staying open. You stay open by never closing. It’s really that simple…you have to…decide whether you are willing to stay open…
Maybe that is, in part, what I found so remarkable about Bryan. He had simply decided…to be open.
Bryan was a board member at Citizens of the World where I worked–Bryan was with us from the beginning when we founded this national network of schools, and he was deeply involved as we sorted out our basic principles and tenets.
About ten years ago, I remember sitting at a table in the Decurion conference room–the topic of that day’s agenda–an agenda that I likely created–was measures of success. I had put together charts and graphs and all the other ways that we would measure and quantify our success.
Bryan, was–as always, listening. I was talking, and he was listening. I talked more, he listened more. And when he did finally speak, he asked a question. He asked:
How we would know that we had created the essence of our intentions within the schools. He was in effect asking me, how we would know that we had made our purpose real.
This was my first taste of the Bryan’s unique gift and talent.
Through his questions Bryan challenged us to open our minds to something so much bigger than what could be measured. Open our minds to something so much bigger than even what we could see or imagine.
Over the next decade there would be dozens of additional conversations. Those conversations always included questions from Bryan. Those questions continued to open our minds.
But now, many years later, what I didn’t realize at the time and what was also true. Bryan’s questions weren’t just asking us to open our minds, Bryan’s questions were influencing us to open our hearts.
The very process of asking questions was connecting a deeper part of himself with a deeper part of each of us. I now understand that the Bryan I experienced was delivering his essence –human connection.
And I know understand that human connection is the conduit for LOVE
Bryan Ungard, was influencing us to be open to the incredible power of love.
I experienced Bryan in person as sometimes quiet, often reserved and always thoughtful.
But as I carry his influence forward, which I intend to do. I will think of Bryan as RADICAL. Radical in his conviction and radical in the integrity with which he chose to live his life.
I am deeply grateful to have known Bryan and I will miss him terribly.