A Proud Moment

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In spite of my efforts to explicitly state the contrary, I suspect many people are still confused as to why I run The 21 Convention (and why it is run in the manner it is). They see the institution help so many people, to such a high degree, that it becomes easy to conclude that the reason I operate it is to do, said helping.

The reason I get out of bed in the morning and run the organization however, has little to nothing to do with helping people. That is a consequence of what I do, and of the way I do it. It has no direct relevance to the purpose of my existence, or to the exercise of my productive effort.

To even state some sort of indirect or distant connection, is by my judgement, a stretch of the imagination, and perhaps in some cases, a confession of a person’s own psycho-ethical conflicts for the work they do.

I wake up and live my life because I love my life, my self, this earth, and the things I have built in my time on it. It’s been so long since I’ve woken up for any other reason, that I can no longer even remember what the experience is like to rise for something (or someone) else. Assuming I once did. I could not even verify I had at this point.

With that said, one of the proudest moments of my life was at the Austin 21 Convention this past year. What was that “moment”?

It was the gradual realization of what I had accomplished by making possible the meeting of Socrates and Greg Swann at the conference, and of that meeting taking place.

In particular, of that meeting taking place — illustrated by the photograph above.

I think a flaw I have is not taking pride in my accomplishments often enough, or with enough appreciation, and enjoyment. But in this case, it was definitely apparent. I was extremely happy that these two men met, that I got to witness it, and be primarily responsible for it.

I realize how simple this event was, but to me, it was the whole world.

Western-civilization is in the process of slow-motion collapse, and yet, here were two virtuous men exchanging the best of their ideas and knowledge with one another : another with the extraordinary capacity to sharpen those (already sharp) ideas, like steel.

If the world collapsed tomorrow, I think I would still remember, for years to come, the small event that was a clear and physical manifestation of the opposite of decay and collapse. The meeting of two minds that absolutely deserved to meet.

HA, I wonder if I will get the opportunity to witness the meeting of James Steele and Ben Sima. Id pay for that one. (And perhaps I will in the form of flight tickets some day!)

About Anthony Dream Johnson

CEO, founder, and architect of The 21 Convention, Anthony Dream Johnson is the leading force behind the world's first and only "panorama event for life on earth". He has been featured on WGN Chicago, and in the NY Times #1 best seller The Four Hour Work Week.    His stated purpose for the work he does is "the actualization of the ideal man", a purpose that has led him to found and host The 21 Convention across 3 continents and for 6 years in a row. Anthony blogs vigorously at TheDreamLounge.net and Declarationism.com.

13 Responses to A Proud Moment

  1. Aiston February 9, 2013 at 7:31 pm #

    You write as though doing something to help others is shameful. You may not be doing anything with the purposeful intent of helping others, but if you did there’d be nothing wrong in it. If people think that’s why you do what you do, so be it. They are not thinking anything bad.

    • Ondřej February 11, 2013 at 2:04 am #

      Absolutely. Vast majority of people find joy in helping others, therefore it’s a part of their “selfish” goal. Mark Sisson would say we are programmed like that:-) Positively affecting lives of others is so strong motivator I have hard time to believe you don’t enjoy it, and your conscious decision to present it this way doesn’t change my opinion, I don’t think it’s evn possible to be inividual to this extent. I understand you put yourself first…I do so too.

      • Anthony Dream Johnson February 11, 2013 at 1:27 pm #

        Benevolence is a sign of self-esteem, as is the enjoyment of the acts of kindness.

        However, much more importantly, it is not a motivator for my life. I suppose it’s possible to be rationally motivated by helping others (enjoying the process first and foremost), however, you are walking on a knifes edge in that case.

        As in, you could slip and fall at any moment. It’s a thin line, before you become dependent on other people for your happiness.

        As I stated in the post, I work on The 21C because I love working on The 21C. It’s a self-built avenue for me to produce, to create, to exercise my mind, and to challenge myself.

        Thousands of people being helped by the work I do is a consequence, not a motivator.

        Think about it : did Steve Jobs create the Iphone to help people? Did Arthur Jones create Nautilus machines to “help others”?

        No. That was the last thing on their minds, if it was at all.

    • Anthony Dream Johnson February 11, 2013 at 11:55 am #


      That was not my intent. However, helping people is not a virtue. And helping people via sacrifice is immoral. So, helping people is only shameful when you do so through sacrifice, of yourself, or others.

      If done properly (genuine benevolence and kindness), it’s still … just helping people. Helping your self, and doing what you really want, is much more difficult.

      Perhaps all of the above is where your comment originated from? (These thoughts have been explicit for some time now).

      • Aiston February 11, 2013 at 2:56 pm #

        “helping people is not a virtue”

        Says who?

        “As I stated in the post, I work on The 21C because I love working on The 21C. It’s a self-built avenue for me to produce, to create, to exercise my mind, and to challenge myself.”

        The 21C depends upon other people. It is not a lone endeavor for self actualization and one’s own inner happiness like the meditation performed by solitary yogis in Himalayan caves.

        You created a forum for other people, even ones you don’t personally know, to increase their knowledge base, hence “helping them”.

        Helping people was one of your motivations whether you like it or not, whether you admit it or not.

        • Anthony Dream Johnson February 11, 2013 at 5:04 pm #

          Says me.

          The 21 Convention does not depend on anyone but me. Every other person who has ever laid eyes on it, is replaceable. Everyone except me.

          This is not to say anything negative about the thousands of people who have supported The 21C. It is to say that I am primarily responsible for the organization, have been since it’s very inception, and will be for the foreseeable future.

          Saying that it depends on other people is a logical fallacy. It depends on me, and me alone.

          Self-actualization is always a lone endeavor. Just like living. Just like thinking.

          No such thing as a collective brain, or a collective self.

          Helping people was definitely a confused motivation at the beginning, one I do not think I ever actually fully believed or understood the meaning of.

          Only I get to dictate why I do things. Only I control my self =)

          • Aiston February 13, 2013 at 5:52 pm #

            “Says me.”

            Exactly. That’s your personal, subjective opinion. Not an objective, axiomatic fact.

            “This is not to say anything negative about the thousands of people who have supported The 21C. It is to say that I am primarily responsible for the organization, have been since it’s very inception, and will be for the foreseeable future.”

            The point, which you are missing, is that the endeavor of the 21 Convention is a…… convention. That means people convening. That was your intent, to bring people together for the purpose of expanding knowledge.

            Now, had you dropped out of society and went alone to a desert or mountain, I would believe you that you had no intention of “helping others”.

            But you didn’t. You formed a “convention” which requires and depends upon the participation of more than just your single, lone self.

            There would be no 21 Convention if the only person who showed up was you.

            • Anthony Dream Johnson February 14, 2013 at 1:21 pm #

              A) your comment implies you do not understand the meaning of the word “axiom”
              B) Verbalizing that 1 + 1 = 2 does not make it a “subjective opinion”. Neither does (by necessity) saying anything else.

              Please come back to this discussion when you have better things to say.

              • Aiston February 14, 2013 at 6:54 pm #

                “B) Verbalizing that 1 + 1 = 2 does not make it a “subjective opinion”. Neither does (by necessity) saying anything else.”

                Verbalizing a subjective opinion, such as “helping people is not a virtue” does not make it an objective fact.

                And without participants the 21Convention would not exist.

  2. Max Nachamkin February 10, 2013 at 8:09 pm #

    Agreed with Aiston. But secondly, congrats for seeing the results of creating The 21 Convention and in a way that means something to you. It may be selfish to not what to help other people, but I think the point you’re trying to make is that it’s that selfishness is what makes us thrive and gives us happiness (which I agree). Example: I give to others because it makes ME feel good about giving to others. Not that it’s actually helping people (that’s a bonus).

    I get the same feeling when I organize events, no matter how small. It’s being the organizer that gives me the satisfaction that I’m able to bring people together and to help them create experiences together, even if I’m not directly involved.

    I can’t count how many friends I’ve introduced to other friends and watching their own friendships form. It has the highest amount of value in this world, and it’s often underlooked.

    Regardless, keep on keepin’ on.

    • Anthony Dream Johnson February 11, 2013 at 1:18 pm #

      Hey Max

      It’s not that I don’t want to help people, it’s that I generally don’t care. I don’t care about people I don’t know, have never met, and will likely never meet.

      One of the only times I care about helping another person is when there is an injustice going on (between human beings). Even then, I don’t care about helping the person, as much as I care about correcting the injustice going on in front of me.

      I hate distortions of reality, because I love reality. I hate falsehoods, because I love the truth.

      I don’t like being attacked, but seeing an innocent person getting the shit kicked out of them, right next to me, is very aggravating. A) because they don’t deserve it, B) because I know what goes around comes around, and I’m next in line.

      It’s like the old saying about the Nazis. First they came for my neighbor, then my other neighbor, and when they came for me, there was no one left to help.

      This is true in all areas of life.

    • Ondřej February 12, 2013 at 4:34 am #

      I think the needs you talk about are essential, and one can’t deny them, that was my point. Even if you want to, you can’t, because Maslow’s pyramid says so and even Socrates writes about that, although in slightly different context, so if you did the 21c for yourself, Anthony, you should re-check your own sources:)) Anyway, I am looking forward to 2014 Convention and the vids you have yet to release.

  3. Sock! February 13, 2013 at 5:35 pm #

    I for one am terribly appreciative for the series of opportunities you’ve created to provide a physical forum for people and their ideas to come together and shared in one place. They really are remarkable moments in time.

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