We aren't the moment

Every living thing is in constant development all the time even if it sometimes feels like time has stopped. Consider these blooming flowers. They take their time, but grow as beautiful and large as the environment allows. At the end they occupy multiples of the space that their small initial flower buds have taken. When given enough room for growth, enough light and enough watering, every flower can outgrow its initial plans.

We also aren't only the moment, yet very often people are only interested in a specific moment of interaction with us. This happens no matter where we go. Even friends are often people who meet themselves irregularly at different points in time and pretend they know each other. But this is merely a delusion. We can know each other only if we are in a similar situation, know our desired paths, support each other's growth to the extent that we are willing to slow down a bit to restore the balance in the engines and see progress from a combined perspective. In short: when we move on our path together. If we are willing to do this, dead or alive, then we are friends.

A person is much more than the moment another one sees in him. Yet, in the conventional corporate world, for example, companies hire people for what they are in the moments they were available to them. They leave some paper documents/tests/interviews to convince them of the path this person has gone so far. It's no wonder then that many companies complain of their employees after they hire them. They were never with them on their path, not even once they had them. They fail to experience the satisfaction that comes from growing their employees, since they think they can learn everything about them in a three-month trial.

Single moment interactions are often the domain of power-dominant people that seek to impose their will on as many people as possible. Of course, they can act unfairly only once, but this still at scale. This is the way many people earn their living today. For them, it's much easier than having to deal with the same person repeatedly or be with them over the course of their lifetime. The more accustomed we grow to single moment interactions, the more normal we start to perceive them and the less we start to think of people as creatures with unique advancement capabilities.

People that seek one-time interactions want to prove their higher social status and they use these convenient moments for comparison with their potential competitors in life. But they won't admit this. So, the value of a contact we see only occasionally, maybe even as a proof of existence, is negligible and doesn't justify the time spent. If we haven't heard of each other over a long period of time, our possibilities to connect on a deeper level have disappeared and there is no reason to think why a couple of new moments could ever fix this. The time we weren't together already created a development imbalance that will be hard to alleviate.

Today, we have many people that swear in networking, but most of them are people of the moment, seeking momentary wins from as low investment as possible. What is the value of someone we saw only once and is on our list of contacts, but is somehow disinterested in a future dialogue? We have started to tolerate such connections, and this is why now we have too many of them and seek the meaningful ones under the microscope. The advantageous moment should never trump what we know we look for in a potential future relationship. Having thousands of contacts means we'll have thousands of moments and still no plan.

Progress isn't one-directional. We need to realize that while blooming, the flower doesn't do so symmetrically—as seen in different time lapses. It grows in different directions with different speeds. Every new leaflet adds detail to the flower and makes it richer in color. With time these leaflets change their angle; new borders and contours appear. It's this combination of details that make the flower beautiful. Even if we perceive it as static, simple object, it is still a living organism just like us. Observing infrequently moments of the flower's development can lead us to wrongly conclude about its future growth, but if we experience this growth together with the flower, it starts to become more predictable.

It is truly amazing what nature can create once we start to consider the dynamics of how the details appear and not only see them as disconnected moments. There is a reason behind every moment we experience—we can't fully understand and appreciate the moment without understanding the reason behind it first.

Finally, we need to work more frequently with people who are able to see the progress in us and describe it concretely.