It occurs to me that we in the West are living in the midst of interesting times. Some see opportunity, others are enveloped in fear. If you and I are up to playing BIG then what kind of stance to take? How to show up and travel in the midst of such times?
These were the questions that I was dealing with and my eyes happened to land on book that I read a long time ago: Love by Leo Buscaglia. I opened it and found myself to the following words of wisdom from Joseph Zinker in his paper called On Public Knowledge and Personal Revelation (bolding is mine):
If a man in the street were to pursue his self, what kind of guiding thoughts would he come up with about changing his existence? He would perhaps discover that his brain is not yet dead, that his body is not dried up, and that no matter where he is right now, he is still the creator of his destiny.
He can change this destiny by taking his one decision to change seriously, by fighting his petty resistance against change and fear, by learning more about his mind, by trying out behavior which fills his real need, by carrying out concrete acts rather than conceptualizing about them, by practicing to see and hear and touch and feel as he has never before used these senses, by creating something with his own hands without demanding perfection, by thinking out ways in which he behaves in a self-defeating manner, by listening to the words that he utters to his wife, his kids, and his friends, by listening to himself, by listening to the words and looking into the eyes of those who speak to him, by learning to respect the process of his own creative encounters and by having faith that they will get him somewhere soon.
We must remind ourselves, however, that no change takes place without working hard and without getting your hands dirty. There are no formulae and no books to memorize on becoming. I only know this: I exist. I am. I am here. I am becoming. I make my life and no one else makes it for me. I must face my own shortcomings, mistakes, and transgressions. No one can suffer my non-being as I do, but tomorrow is another day, and I must decide to leave by bed and live again. And if I fail, I don’t have the comfort of blaming you or life or God.”
Yes, we live in interesting times. Brexit has happened. Trump has happened. Hate has been unleashed and hating the other is now clothed in patriotism. Yet, the future is NOT determined. Destiny has not already been set in stone. You, I, we can shape the future by the stance we take: our attitude, our way of showing up and travelling in the world.
You and I are like strands in a rope. The rope does that which no strand can do by itself, on its own. By coming together, working together, the strands bring into being the power of the rope.
Coming together means more than coming together with the folks we like – those who are just like us. Playing BIG necessarily involves showing up and travelling from a specific context: a world that works for all, none excluded. Which necessarily means involving oneself with the other with compassion. Consider that if we, individually and collectively, had not excluded and then ignored those who are excluded there would have been no Brexit, no election of Trump as president of the USA.
I thank you for listening, wish you the very best, and invite you to play BIG in these challenging times.