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.