Sunday 8 November 2015

Jay Cross and the passion which guides us

Yesterday Jay Cross passed away. When Clark Quinn sent out the message, I felt hurt in my heart. Real pain, which struck me as being unexpected as Jay was an online colleague at first, but we engaged in many conversations and thus – apparently – my heart embraced him, just like Jay embraced people warmheartedly all the time. He could appeal to the authentic self so easily, by being authentic himself. 
Jay is no longer in this living world. It is as though I am missing a beacon of knowledge. At any giving moment I would know that I could go to one of his online spaces, and learn something new. 9 years ago Jay accepted me in one of his learning communities (on Ning at the time), and he entered the conversation inviting me to share more. Within days I had learned more about elearning (formal and informal), and the importance of openness, sharing, working out loud (which was not a term back then). 

We would have met again at Online Educa Berlin, he actually was finishing his latest book on real learning. He would promote the book there, Real Learning, to which I added some feedback on Jays request (a great book of his, sharing evidence-based learning techniques). How typical for people of passion to keep having ideas. When passion guides us, we radiate and inspire. We live the best of our lives, if we can find our passion and fully immerse in it. And Jay managed to pull that off with enormous ease, and ignite multiple others along the way. What a great life it is, when a person inspires others, lifts them to great heights, motivates them to reach higher levels of professionalism and insight. And what a wonderful life it is to end right in the middle of finishing yet another inspiring project. I remember that almost a year ago I was standing with Jay, discussing self-directed learning and while he was talking I could see the look (= the twinkle) in his eyes, knowing that he was on the verge of diving into a new project that he was mapping in his mind. Looking back, it reminds me of Agatha Christie, who is said to be working on a new plot right until she passed away herself. There is something in the way passion can illuminate our lives, as well as others. And those who manage to capture it are true heroes. Thank you Jay, I will miss you. Sending all of his beloved one’s lots of strength.