In every moment each human being is doing his or her level best. That’s the humbling, magnificent, encouraging, discouraging truth. And the more deeply we see this, the more we access compassion for ourselves and others. The more compassion we experience, the nicer our best tends to be.
In which I recount my great cat box insight: in any given moment you either want to clean the cat box or you don’t. Pretending that you are not doing what you choose to do just makes things unnecessarily complicated.
Syd Banks talks about trusting a feeling. But there is a huge difference between noticing and navigating from that lovely feeling and being attached to the feeling itself.
Julian of Norwich is fabled for saying, “All is well, and all manner of things be well.”
I’m sure she’d be delighted to know that I agree. On some cosmic level everything is magnificent, amazing, and just peachy keen.
And yet the heart aches–and should–when children go hungry. The soul lurches and heaves and cries, “No! No! No!” when another person of color is killed in the name of law enforcement.
There is no shortage of injustice, damage, and suffering in this world of form.
Somehow we need to hold both: awareness of the perfect whole and a here-and-now response-ability to the problems around us.
Looking for leverage
I’ve sat with that paradox for many years. As my own sense of wellbeing has expanded and deepened, I’ve wondered about my responsibility (response-ability) for the wellbeing of my fellow beings.
I’ve been listening. Looking. Wondering. And I’ve been wondering about what this means for my work as well.
In a way, I think I’ve been looking for leverage, for the place where the kind of critter I am can make the greatest contribution.
And it’s looking to me like I can contribute by coaching men and women who are working on large scale world problems ranging from climate change to hunger to terrorism, helping them to tap into the creativity, resilience, courage, and wisdom they need to continue to innovate and to keep up the good work without burnout.
In the words of Mahatma Gandhi, I’m committed to helping us all be the change we want to see.
Being the change we want to see calls for a “new type of thinking”
You’ve doubtless seen variations on a statement attributed to Albert Einstein that we cannot solve a problem from the same level of consciousness that gave rise to it.
What he actually said was this:
“Our world faces a crisis as yet unperceived by those possessing power to make great decisions for good or evil. The unleashed power of the atom has changed everything save our modes of thinking and we thus drift toward unparalleled catastrophe. We scientists who released this immense power have an overwhelming responsibility in this world life-and-death struggle to harness the atom for the benefit of mankind and not for humanity’s destruction. We need two hundred thousand dollars at once for a nation-wide campaign to let people know that a new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive and move toward higher levels. ” (Source: New York Times – May 25 1946, p.13 – “Atomic Education Urged by Einstein”)
I believe that new type of thinking is already available, that it’s built in to the human operating system, and that learning to notice and access it is part of the creative evolutionary process.
I’m headed to Oslo to advance that process
From May 27-29 I’ll be at the One Solution Conference in Oslo Norway, at which speakers will boldly assert a single solution to the world’s challenges.
Our assertion is that the problems of humanity–-war, poverty, cultural and political conflict, terrorism, the environment, corruption, drug trafficking, gender inequality, to name just a few–derive from a single source.
What’s more, that single source can be successfully addressed with a single solution, a simple understanding of the mind.
You can get a taste of the conference at the free Wholeness Hangout on Friday
My guests for the May Wholeness Hangout, Friday, May 6, are Eirik Grunde-Olsen and Linda Pransky, two of the organizers of the One Solution Conference.
We will look at how what happens on a personal level also happens on a global level and what that implies for solving world problems. We will make the case for how insight into how the human experience is created moment to moment is the solution for producing true sustainable change.
I hope you will bring your questions and vision to the conversation.
Call and response
I don’t believe that the world needs saving so much as I sense that each of us is called to participate in the creative evolutionary process in a unique way. And this new type of thinking helps us notice how we are called and then respond in the ways that make sense for the kinds of critters we are.
I have a friend who is organizing a community based electrical power supply system. Who knew that such a thing was possible, let alone feasible? But she is doing it.
Another friend has founded a museum to foster and feature the work of regional artists.
A third friend is deeply involved in the presidential primaries, moving heaven and earth to get out the vote.
These friends are making bold, visible moves, but that’s not the only way we contribute to the unfolding process.
The most important conversation in the world
My friend Bill Cumming, founder of The Boothby Institute (another bold, visible move), is fond of saying that we can never know when the most important conversation in the world is taking place.
We may never know how the effects of a kind word, a helping hand, or even a harshly uttered course correction ripple through space and time. Small changes in initial conditions can have massive consequences.
In other words, if it moves you, do something about it. Don’t worry about how big or small it is.
I hope you can join us for Friday’s Hangout (details below). If you can’t, then I invite you to watch the replay, which will be on the same page by the following day.
Meanwhile, have a wonderful, wonder-filled week, and please let me know what’s in your heart by sharing it in the comments.
Two steps forward, one step back may be a problematic strategy for running a marathon. But what if life is not a race, but a dance? And what if YOU get to choose which one it will be?