I have a new obsession. It’s only about 28 hours old, and it revolves around me having signed up for an online German language course. (Babbel.com) It’s freaking genius! It’s obvious that thousands of hours, a whole team of people, and a very healthy wad of cash has gone into developing the software and the platform and rolling out of this baby. Talk about comprehensive! I loved language classes at school, but, in terms of intellectual content and varied exercises and mediums, I would choose this online version over a physical classroom… For me and my children. And it gets me excited because it reminds me of the sheer, mind-blowing enormity of the wave of worldwide potential that is swelling, swelling, swelling… The ‘early adopters’ are creating some freaking amazing things (I watch clip after clip on www.ted.com that offer undeniable proof of this swell.)… But we haven’t quite hit the ecstatic rush yet… It’s coming, it’s coming!
I don’t watch or generally engage in mainstream news. Mainstream news is a filtered view of what’s actually going on. All of our perspectives are smaller, filtered versions of the whole… We can’t see it all with our little human (jelly-baby) minds. We can’t see it all, but we get to choose what we see and how we see it. This is what I see –
We are getting smarter. We’re getting healthier. We’re living longer. We’re getting more connected, and we’re getting exquisitely more intricate with our creativity.We are becoming masters of global, progressive collaboration. Personal international networks and connections are becoming the rule rather than the exception, and the delay in the sharing of new technology, knowledge, and wisdom is getting smaller and smaller by the day. Futurist Jason Silva refers to the culmination of such epic and awesome advances as ‘The Singularity’. (Check out some of his awesome clips at www.thisisjasonsilva.com) The beginning of a new age when all of our knowledge is pooled, and everyone who wants to be connected can be. Basically, we are liberated to create at our absolute highest potential because all of the knowledge of the world is available to us… Literally at our fingertips. Yes, it smacks of the Biblical ‘Rapture’, and yes, I may sound like a two-bit American preacher, but good lordy lord, IT’S COMING!
I know I’m speaking from a privileged, white, first-world perspective right now… I can’t apologise for that. I have no other genuine perspective to speak from – I am a privileged, white, first-world citizen. And I say that, not to rub it in faces, but to say to the rest of my cohort of privileged, white, first-world citizens – We are the leaders right now. We are the ones with the widest access. We are the ones with the loudest individual rights and voices and buying power. We are the consumers for whom the most advanced, high-end, and progressive inventions are being developed. Us. You, the English-speaking, literate, first-world citizen with a passport that gets you into more countries than it keeps you out of.
With these privileges, with these voices, with this buying and creating power, comes responsibility. No, it’s ‘not fair’, or sustainable that our Bangladeshi, or Indian, or Indonesian, or Chinese brothers and sisters are working in sweat-shops or on unsafe building sites for forty cents a day. I say ‘No’ to war and human-trafficking and starving children as consistently as the well-fed, safe, educated citizen of a first-world country sitting next to me… But it is a psychological pillar of humanity that we only ever move for one of two reasons – The pain gets bad enough to force us to move away from something, or the anticipated pleasure of something new inspires us to move towards it… Pain will get us half way, if that’s the way we want to play it. Saying ‘No’ to the collective and individual pain of all the ‘bad things’ I mentioned before, and more, will get us half way. Yes, pain can be a great motivator. Pain is still pushing the majority of us now. In our micro and macro circles, the pain of where we were got bad enough to start us moving… We have started moving. We had our world wars and our individual wars, across all arenas, and they hurt… So we started moving away from them. Good move privileged first-word citizens, good move indeed. The movement is good, the movement is good… But the movement away from pain will only get us half way…
We are the leaders in this. Getting past mediocre ‘my-life-isn’t-that-great-but-at-least-it’s-not-that-shit’, getting PAST this point is our responsibility. Constant ‘Okayness’ interspersed with occasional bouts of ‘my life is shit’ is a cop-out. Anything less than owning your perfectly inspired brilliance is a cop-out. And, not only is it a cop-out, you, you front-of-the-line citizen are robbing the rest of the world of a world-class example of living an inspired, loving, joyful life. Those still wading through the pain, or just beginning to move away from it, they need an example. And not just an example of getting to ‘half way’, they need an example of what’s possible on the inspired side of the scale. You are here to be that example. You have everything. You are blessed. And yes, I’m talking to myself as loudly as anyone else.
Me who, even here on this generally solitary mountaintop, has the world at her fingertips. Me who, with the mindful entering of a few magic debit card numbers, has access to thousands of hours and dollars worth of mind and world expanding technology in the form of this latest adventure, online language courses. Me who, just as much as any of my privileged first-world friends, needs to be reminded that I am a leader in this, and I have a responsibility to the world to own my own brilliance and be the example. A responsibility to commit to more than ‘mediocre’ and to move decisively in the direction of joy and deep gratitude and abundant, inspired connection and yes, radical, loving change.
All this extrapolated from the ‘simple’ act of starting an online German language course! Even if I don’t remember a single word of German, this reminder itself is value enough… (Oh, of course I’m going to remember something! It’s a hilarious language that amuses me no end… And I have a theory that being highly amused puts my brain into a highly receptive learning state! One cute little discovery today was that their word for eleven is… Elf! Naw, bless their little cotton elfin socks!)
Just to clarify my point, cause this is a bit of a wide and wiggly story tonight –
It is our, my comrades and equal enjoy-ers of first-world privileged freedoms and opportunities, it is our responsibility to own our brilliance, to spin in resplendent gratitude for all that we have been given, and to commit our entire lives to radical, loving, inspired change. We will not create lasting external, ‘out there’ freedom and equality and connection until we are living it ‘in here’ … And everything, everything, EVERYTHING is perfectly primed for you to start really, really, REALLY living those things.
Be an inspired example, you are always in front of the room.