In a few hours, I shall be making a presentation to a room-full of people, about a method of group therapy I conduct, four times every week, at my place of employment.
I could be asking — myself and the universe — lots of questions about this imminent presentation, including:
- How am I going to perfectly translate all my knowledge and experience of group therapy into a neat, comprehensive, and engaging 70-minute package?
- How am I going to make “small talk” during the “breakfast” portion of this “breakfast club” event, prior to my presentation? Won’t I be too nervous? Won’t chatting with people, that way, feel inauthentic?
- How can I surreptitiously check my teeth after eating all sorts of food that will indubitably include green, red, and other colorful objects, to make sure that there’s nothing obvious stuck there, to distract my audience?
- If I screw this up completely, what will the consequences be?
Actually, it helped me to ask that last question, because I can see that the answer is:
No lasting consequences that I can identify, at all.
However, the main question I wanted to ask in today’s blog is … surprise! … the title of this post.
Who are these people?
This is a question I’ve asked before, when I’m:
- stuck in a long line at the grocery store,
- not moving because of lots of traffic,
- observing a crowd of people gathering, for a reason I can’t immediately identify, and
- other situations that I can’t remember, right now (but that’s okay).
Today, that question mainly refers to:
Who are these people I am going to see in less than 2.5 hours? Who are these people who made the decision, the effort, and the monetary commitment to sign up to hear me speak today?
Since I do not know who they are, at this writing, I am perfectly capable of projecting all sorts of fears, assumptions, and worries onto them.
Actually, this is not entirely true. I DO know some of the people who will be there today, including Maxine, who reads this blog (I think) and who did a kick-ass presentation of her own, last year. And I know some of the organizers for the event, including Marc, who sent me this email yesterday:
One more short day till game time, if you would like me to add to this introduction please let me know. Personally I like it as it stands
See you in the morning,
… and directly below that was the response I had sent, weeks ago, to Marc’s request for a “bio,” to help him prepare for his introduction of me this morning.
How about this as a bio, Mark?
This is Ann Koplow.
She knows what she’s talking about.
Listen to her.
I’ll work on a better bio, soon.
Thank you, very much.
Here’s what I notice, now, about that email I had sent Marc (which I completely forgot about until yesterday):
- I misspelled both his name and my name.
- That’s a pretty good introduction.
So, I guess I’m as ready as I’ll ever be for my presentation today. But, to complete this blog post, I want to show you some photos I’ve taken recently. It’s up to you to decide whether these images fit today’s topic.
Before I end this post, I also want to include two songs that answer the question — “Who Are These People?” — very differently. That is, they reflect how I see people when I feel (1) unsafe and (2) safe.
Thanks to all the people who showed up in this post. I know who they are and I’m grateful I do. I’m also grateful I could shower you with my thoughts, feelings, and experiences, today.