Exploring a perspective…
Our society doesn’t really enjoy smallness. When we refer to the ‘small,’ it’s often pejorative and the word is tied to phrases like “small-minded” and “playing small.” Smallness, the concept, is often coupled with ignorance, and not being a “major player,” which in our society, usually means ‘a bad thing.’ Granted, ignorance is not very well supported for good reason; maybe living in a world where everyday people are constantly trying to “learn” and constantly enrolling in classes has demonstrated an educational industry that has simply gotten out of hand. If you aren’t teaching these days, or running workshops, what are you doing?! The message is the same: everyone ought to be a leader, a teacher, a giver, a bestower of “the way”!
In our society, the paradigm is to aspire to be the inspirer of others (most influential!), taking big, bold actions demonstrating ‘great’ progress, demonstrating command of personal willpower, great personal fortitude, and a thick skin; meanwhile leaving room to express “vulnerability” in leadership which may or may not even feel vulnerable to the people divulging their “secrets.” After all, this is another ‘trained’ phenomenon. People are actually instructed to be vulnerable, to make themselves “real.” Each decade another set of instructions comes from research and leadership circles, and the advice trickles down to all, as each tries to become “more like” those instructions for success, the proven success. Then those who read those messages and repeat and disperse this information to their groups, ad infinitum – until maybe, maybe this news is old news. Maybe we need a new type of success – one that doesn’t look like all the other options available outside of us.
In essence, the message has been “be the best” – yet, even if you are being the best ‘you,’ how would anyone be able to recognize that? How would they even know what to look for? How could they offer support? That’s how different your success could look!
Nowadays the push is for each player to be the one who scores for the whole team – the shining star – the one who makes the biggest difference leading to the success for all. That’s still a level of shine that isn’t as shared as it could be! We value teams only in the sense that the teams occupy a great space due to the leader’s charisma, charm, and personal effectiveness: specifically if that leader is the coach. We want to point out one person to either blame or punish for success for failure.
It seems we value leaders above all, and there’s this underlying disdain for “the collective,” often relegated as “the unconscious” masses. We have to of course, “wake them up.” The entire concept of smallness in our society seems to relate back to a need for “protection” and “encouragement.” Everyone, it seems, should celebrate big gains in wisdom, intelligence, finances, etc. Progress should be unequivocally upward and regularly consistent, for all. Underlying these messages are some worthwhile intentions: we do want everyone to be happy. So, what does happiness real look like, though? Is it really the same for everyone?
Is there a possible different world, in which small places can hang out without being bull-dozed by the great and the awesome?
Are people allowed to simply “exist”?
When did we start attacking “existence” so strongly – all the while celebrating that existence in the non-human realms? I used to do fundraising for animal welfare groups, and many of the individuals I would talk to literally hated humans, above all.
Many of us love nature; we love how it exists. But if anyone actually tries to emulate nature, that individual will receive exactly zero praise. It might even be fought by the powers that be that apply pressure to this existing. This isn’t about praise however. This is about being allowed to live and let live, without the constant encouragement for self-disdain for being ‘normal’ or ‘regular’ and even gasp, “slow to grow.” Are we not giving enough, doing enough? Have we not changed the planet yet? How can this relentless pursuit to be big and grand, occupying as much space as possible physical or digital, while being uber productive, be the way to freedom and peace – for everyone?!
However there are a minority of quotes/adages that go something like this, “great is the enemy of good.” Each quote and concept needs some deconstruction.
I offer these thoughts merely as a reflection, realizing that this viewpoint that I am experimenting with is also temporary and transient.