Pass It On

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Pass It On

A promise has real power.
A promise made from a stand
that who you are is your word,
engages you as a participant.
You cease to be a spectator,
and your words become actions
that actually impact the world.
-Werner Erhard

Have you ever had such a great experience that you were just bursting to share it with someone, overflowing with excitement and enthusiasm, wanting everyone you know to have the same experience? Perhaps an exceptional meal in a little-known restaurant, a trip to a foreign country, watching a must-see film, a breathtaking adventure in nature, reading a new author’s work, a spiritual insight that leaves you tingling, discovering a political candidate you can finally believe in—so many possibilities.

What do you want to do in those moments? Perhaps silently savor your experience to its fullest, gleaning every morsel of meaning and nuance, or maybe jump up and down with sheer delight wanting to shout out your joy, “Amazing!” What a wide range we all have to express our deepest feelings. At some point in time, I think we want to share the impact of those moments with the people we care most about.

Throughout my life, whenever I discovered something that I thought was exceptional, or had an experience that opened doors in my heart and mind, I would pass on the information to whomever I thought would benefit from it. It seemed only natural to do this. I thought that if everyone was doing this, being a free economy and a free society, soon the level of excellence and meaning all around the world would go up, because people would be supporting goods, services, and experiences of the highest quality.

My enthusiasm for quality was my guide. My desire to have everyone experiencing the best life has to offer was my motivation.

I didn’t know until 1982, when I did the Personal Effectiveness Seminar, that what I was doing was called advocacy. I just did it because I wanted to. Advocacy means to speak or write in favor of something publicly or to support something you value.

It has been easy for me to advocate when it has been about goods and services, because I knew people would probably like what I advocated for; I am a good judge of quality. Where it got tough was when I thought the other person would not agree with me. I would talk about what was “safe,” where I would not experience any resistance. I realized in some areas of my life, I was a “sunshine advocate.” I’d advocate only for the things I knew people would agree with me on.

This insight was deeply disturbing and uncomfortable. The people I most admire are the ones who have had the courage to advocate for things that are deeply important to them even when others do not agree. People who stood and said basically, “There’s an elephant in the living room!” I was playing it safe to be accepted, afraid to rock the boat and stand up for things that I thought were exceptional. This affected every part of my life, the way I parented, participated at work, even the smallest things like which movies I would talk about! My self-judgment was, “gutless!” And I didn’t like it one bit.

So I started exploring how I could stand up for what I believe in no matter what the circumstances. Even if my heart is pounding out of my chest, my mouth dry as the desert, and sweat is running down my sides, I want to express my message in a way that others can hear and understand. Not only my truth, but also my passion, my humanity, and my vision of what’s possible.

I started in a small way at home with my husband and my children and was amazed at how much
easier it was than I anticipated. After building my self trust through practice at home, I started advocating honestly and authentically with my friends. I was encouraged by how the quality of my relationships grew and deepened.

Over time I discovered three important things. When I am:
1. being authentic and honest about what I am advocating for,
2. sharing information clearly and enthusiastically,
3. respectful of the person I am talking with, which means my intention is to create the
highest good,

What do you care about passionately that you are ready to pass on?


1. Looking back over time, what are things that you have cared about deeply and not told anyone about?

2. What were your reasons for keeping them private?

3. What do you think about people who respectfully reveal what they care about and think is important? How do you feel in their presence?

4. What do you care enough about to risk advocating, passing it on?

With love and gratitude,
Kris King

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2 Responses to “Pass It On”

  1. Catharine Merigold says:

    After so many years, I am finally able to write to you.

    I took your Wings Seminar in Colorado, strongly encouraged by friends who had taken – not one – but several of your seminars. While I believe you have good intentions. you re-traumatized me SO SO badly that it has taken me years to recover. Agin, I believe in your intentions. But – your relatively thin psychological training, combined with your “external success” – was a damaging volatile combination.

    When I got up to speak, you publicly rejected me and left me physically standing there – alone and rejected. Specifically, Kris, you said, “I cannot help you”.

    I came – and worked hard, and was courageous – because I wanted change.

    I sobbed for days. But the damage was much longer lasting.

    The double-whammy? On Sunday (because I DID stay, gritting my teeth as my tears fell, to get my refund), you approached me to get some feedback. But you did not ask about me; you did not ask if was I OK, or what else might you do for me, or anything that was about me. No, your question was all about you. Specifically, you asked, “what could I have done to be more effective?”. So OK, maybe this is somewhat consistent. Your seminars are about the individual. But – as a teacher – it is NOT all about you.

    You have hurt me more than you know. And your actions communicated that you didn’t even care what the consequences of your actions on me might have been.

  2. jim anderton says:

    Today…I first read your comments…and then listened to you… reading again. I took your book with me, two years ago, to Alaska on a fishing trip, reading it in the evenings, when I could have been BSing with the guys. I’m sure they thought….whatever. As I recall, I did share some of your insights and story. As I returned to this page(s) again I am surprised at the impact your words are having on me right now. I sense they are highly motivational as I accept them. Kris… always…thank you… Your aspiring “advocate”, jim