Of Doors and Carrots . . .

These past several weeks have been very intense; it seems almost as if there is a growing awareness, awareness of the urgency for change, and it’s growing fast. More important than ever to take time out to Stop, Reflect & Listen . . .

A number of business fairs presenting Replanting a Rainforest and our work at Open World Café, an international symposium; Globe Forum in Stockholm, Professor Lester Brown from Earth Watch Institute and Earth-Policy.org presenting his latest book; Plan B 4.0, and innumerable other events, meetings and dialogues later I realize I have scarcely taken the time to Stop, Reflect & Listen!

A dear friend stepped outside her home into the early spring sunshine, squinted and tripped on a step to the garden; a few hours later with a bandaged foot and cast on the right arm she found she would have eight weeks to Stop, Reflect & Listen . . .

A few months ago I was so stressed and my mind was so far away when I pulled up to the gas station that I filled the tank to the top with gas . . . instead of diesel, after more than a year driving a diesel car (I had borrowed a neighbors gasoline car the day before and my mind had not made the switch).

It’s times like these, with gracious and generous reminders by friends that help me understand the importance of my thinking and my action in these turbulent times. And turbulent they are; Greece on financial default, Spain and Portugal not far behind, and the once great United Kingdom; all contributing to a new potential financial meltdown, this time of the states themselves, putting in question the very existence of the Euro as a common European currency. An Icelandic volcano with a name nobody can pronounce, BIG earthquakes in Haiti, Chile, China and the Solomon islands have not helped to reduce the “noise” in our day-to-day lives – lots of distractions; I need to focus!

Precious little is said about the lifestyles which have brought us to where we are today. And it’s time to change.

In the meantime we all know that, but are we changing? Are we willing to change into something new, do things we’ve never done before? Are we willing to let go of all the preconceptions  of how things “should” be? Are we prepared to change into something we don’t know?

Here is where my head goes into a higher gear, and I would like to address what for me is the central issue: It’s all in our thinking. Put differently: what will it take to radically transform the way we think about these things? What will it take to change the way we think about change?

And what does this have to do with Doors and Carrots???

As I walk through life, along this pathless path I have chosen, I feel often alone; why do I choose a life which goes against the very grain of modern society? How can I NOT co-exist in a society bent on having fun, lots of toys and constant “fun” distractions (Hollywood, Las Vegas, Disneyland and the epitome of these three; Dubai) how can I resist the Carrot dangling in front of my eyes wherever I look (the cars, the houses, the clothes, the power and the status), vanishing as soon as I grab it? If I am alone (and we can all be alone even if we have lots of people around us), if I am alone it will be difficult.

But if, along that pathless path i see a Door, and I venture inside, and find other people who have chosen to Stop inside that place, a space where I can share and participate in a dialogue, a dialogue for change, then I will no longer feel alone, and that dangling carrot that isn’t will be where it should be; growing orange and green in the rich and abundant earth.

That is indeed the idea behind Open World Café and the Open World Foundation, places to meet and engage in dialogues for trans-formative change; thinking thoughts where no mind has gone before . . .


About christersoderberg

Living and growing up in nine countries has left strong impressions on the background of Christer Söderberg, helping to create an awareness of the impermanence in life and the uncertain value of knowledge; illustrating the paradox between knowing and what we may do well to “unlearn”. Christer has worked with companies in six countries on four continents, most recently in Brazil where between 1998 and 2002 he started a subsidiary for a Swedish Multinational. Studies in business and a lifetime of social entrepreneurship have further cemented his belief that the only thing we can change is ourselves. This lifelong endeavor expresses itself in creating the conditions for change through places, physical and virtual spaces where the individual can feel safe in him/herself; at least enough to stop, reflect and listen to the world we live in. We exist in our relationship to each other, our environment, and ourselves. Through observation and silence, preferably in close communion with nature, a “zero perspective” can help stimulate the questions surrounding our purpose and a meaningful contribution while on earth. Increased awareness of individual potential plants seeds for long-term success; Open World initiatives help awaken the hidden potential in individuals, creating new perspectives on cooperation and personal development. Increased focus and balance help provide a strong base for individual and business growth, with a deeply ingrained sense of responsibility, respect and awe for the power in nature.
This entry was posted in Awareness, Brazil, Leadership, Open World Café & Gallery, Open World Lodge, Replanting a Rainforest, Resilient Humanity, Stop, Reflect & Listen . . ., Sustainability, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Of Doors and Carrots . . .

  1. Alexandra Söderberg says:

    Truly inspiring…
    I will stop inside that place with you, reflect with you, and listen together.

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