Deeper than Hope: The power in the powerless, the importance of following, and authenticity
I had a very interesting conversation with a surgeon from Spain, named Mario, who came to visit the Center for Investigating Healthy Minds. He introduced me to the video below.
Perhaps we can imagine that this was a spontaneous event. It raises important issues. So many themes to wonder about. We can notice the leadership of the child and we can marvel at the power of those who followed — the power of community (see the wonderful video below for a great example of this). We can ask: What was that first child pushing? We could answer: the hearts of those who watched. We can then be reminded that it is very difficult to judge power or effectiveness. We can stand in awe at the confluence of millions of variables that probably had to co-occur for the tree to be moved: if any one of them had been different, what then?
The following video is really cool (and just incidentally is by the person who started CD Baby, Derek Sivers) in summarizing the importance of following:
Mario raised the important issue of quality, the quality of the child’s presence and pushing. People sense and respond to quality. What was the quality of the dancing leader? He just had the courage to be himself, no? And, then, as the narrator points out, he welcomed others.
Aren’t we humans beautiful? Another example of following…and dancing…around the world:
…And, another (famous) example:
Deeper than Hope: Perhaps the important quality is authenticity, acting from and dealing with reality. Authenticity is deeper than hope. It’s interesting to me to think that the child was not acting from hope. The child was simply acting because that was his task at that time. People followed because that was their task, but, also, because people are attracted to authenticity. In this way, authenticity, perhaps, is deeper than hope…even though it does not always have a happy ending…or any ending at all.
The following poem also has an interesting take on hope and impermanence.
The Dakini Speaks by Jennifer Welwood
My friends, let’s grow up.
Let’s stop pretending we don’t know the deal here.
Or if we truly haven’t noticed, let’s wake up and notice.
Look: everything that can be lost, will be lost.
It’s simple—how could we have missed it for so long?
Let’s grieve our losses fully, like ripe human beings,
But please, let’s not be so shocked by them.
Let’s not act so betrayed,
As though life had broken her secret promise to us.
Impermanence is life’s only promise to us,
And she keeps it with ruthless impeccability.
To a child she seems cruel, but she is only wild,
And her compassion is exquisitely precise:
Brilliantly penetrating, luminous with truth,
She strips away the unreal to show us the real.
This is the true ride—let’s give ourselves to it!
Let’s stop making deals for a safe passage:
There isn’t one anyway, and the cost is too high.
We are not children any more.
The true human adult gives everything for what cannot be lost.
Let’s dance the wild dance of no hope!
Somehow, the Black Eyes Peas question, “Where is the love?” in the form of their song and video seems appropriate here also. Over 220 million views and counting.
Thank you, Mario, for the gift of our conversation.