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 . . .