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Thursday, June 2, 2011

A Wildly Thumping Heart

It is easy in the world to live after the world’s opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude. - Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance

“The world is powered by passionate people, powerful ideas, and fearless action. What’s one strong belief you possess that isn’t shared by your closest friends or family? What inspires this belief, and what have you done to actively live it?”

"The world is powered by passionate people, powerful ideas, and fearless action,"   While I believe that is true, it is only part of the story.  I believe that passionate people with powerful ideas and fearless action weren't always that way.  Their journeys, I'm sure, developed along the way.  Maybe the passion grew slowly or leapt up like a wildfire but I don’t think it appeared instantly, perfect and whole.  Perhaps powerful ideas gained momentum as they were thought and re-thought.  Sometimes scratching just below the surface of fearless action reveals an initial reluctance.. Or a wildly thumping heart. 
What am I trying to say here?  That the world is powered by all of us.  That sometimes things take shape slowly and imperfectly and that lousy ideas put forth by big old scairdy cats have had their time on the stage.   That it is all one big experiment and we bump along in fits and starts.  That is why, I believe that we all deserve a third chance.  The common belief is two chances, thank you very much, now be on your way.  However, my career was spent with kids and experience taught me that more than two chances were often necessary and almost always more productive.  My yoga teacher used to say that falling down was good because it taught you where your balance wasn’t.  My balance wasn’t only in one place, it changed from day to day and falling down happened often.  Many chances.   The quote seems to imply perfection and completeness.  The world is messy and thankfully, quite imperfect.  So are we.  So are passionate people, powerful ideas and fearless action.  Heroes are seductive and exciting.  My vote is for the quiet shy kid at the back of the room who raises her hand slowly and when called on, puts forth a shaky, imperfect idea that has promise and boldness in it but probably needs many chances to bring it to full power and fearless action.

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