An invasion of armies can be resisted, but not an idea whose time has come".... Victor Hugo
The title of my last post 'Inspired by You' was a reminder to myself that it is only in coming together that Inspiration flourishes. It was to remind me that Inspiration awakens in me as I recognise that Inspiration's (life's?) purpose -- to become aware of our connection, our Oneness... is in fact my own purpose too... what I really want. It is so easy for me to forget this and try to find inspiration in my work, play and my life choices instead of where it's really at... in the bigger picture.
So, in the spirit of eating my own dog food, I took the advice of the 'Pooh bear' yesterday.... "You can't stay in your corner of the forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes." After an absence I took a little time out to go through my feed reader to see what others were up to.
I ended up well and truly inspired by some of the things that Johnnie Moore was saying. Johnnie's post Gemeinschaftsgefuhl... led me to this excellent post from Tom Guarriello. Here's the central thought:
We live in the least violent era in human history. By any metric (fatalities caused by war, institutional torture, domestic violence, child abuse, slavery) global civilization has never been as peaceful."
I thought I was reasonably well informed but I didn't know that at all. Certainly I am aware of this undercurrent of well-being and desire to reconnect around the world, but I assumed that with more sophisticated weaponry there was as much violence now as there had ever been.
I suppose it's easy for us to assume that this new era of peacefulness has been caused by communication technology rendering us less able to turn a blind eye to others suffering, but as Tom suggests there's something deeper afoot here: Gemeinschaftsgefuhl - 'a profound sense of caring for others and a desire to improve the world.' ....Wiktionary
"Gemeinschaftsgefuhl".... what a marvelous word that is. Pity it's so difficult to pronounce!
It appears on the surface that our life on earth is taking a huge turn for the worse with all the climactic changes going on, but look just below the surface of appearances and we can recognise this inexorable groundswell of 'gemeinschaftsgefuh' taking place. But here's the really intriguing thing: It seems as though it's impossible to see both of these worlds. The sight of one world denies the other. But both can't be true.
Albert Einstein once said the most important question a human being can ask is, “Is the universe friendly?” The answer to this can be either 'yes' or no', shades of grey just don't come into it. And so it's absolutely pointless trying to persuade anyone of the reality of the benevolent world view if they haven't at the least glimpsed it for themselves.
So what can we do?
I've often used Gandhi's quote as a way to express this, probably because I've never managed to find the right words myself. Well here it is expressed beautifully. These words of Johnnie's from his post 'Enterprise 2.0 and the loveliness of the water', (in the context of Enterprise 2.0 practices) for me gets to the heart of this and articulates so clearly what I have wanted to express:
So maybe the best thing is not to try too hard to champion new ways, not to overdo the "not getting it" taboo, and put the energy into doing the stuff and trust that, in the end, people's natural desire to join in will take over."
Yes that's it.... change by osmosis.
.. When I first started blogging I had this compulsion to join the debate on blogs that took a stance against the seeming injustices of the world, saying things like... "Things aren't what they seem, there is a better way, and that way is in our hands." I loved the sentiment of blogs like How to save the world and was drawn there by the genuine willingness to not shirk away from the grotesqueness of human suffering. But I know now that by arguing against the perception of a broken world I just add substance to the illusion that it is more than a perception.... and I just make the illusion of powerlessness all the more real.
As Bucky Fuller said: "You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete."