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.
28 thoughts on “coming from a small space.”
Small is beautiful!
if anyone actually tries to emulate nature, that individual will receive exactly zero praise – lovely line 🙂 I too think the beauty of existence lies in simply Being and living life with a joy within …no judgment, no praise.
This is true, isn’t it? How beautiful is existence, and that is the heart of this post – honoring existence for what it is ❤ Thank you very much for your comment.
True, I find it very resonant. You are very welcome.
I agree Ka. Thanks for the wise musings. May we value simple and small and all who exist without any grand requirements.
Thank you so much, Brad, for your thoughtful comment. I really appreciate your word offerings on behalf of this post, and I thank you very much for reading! 🙂
My pleasure Ka.
Small is greatness too!
What a beautiful piece of writing as you delve deeper into the small minds that many humans hold.
They are fearful of being small, insignificant, because we are taught if your amount to nothing, you are nothing.. So you have to aspire to be grand, to win, be the best, and Top of the class.. To be otherwise is to Fail..
So we grow up fearing the small, rejecting what appears to be free.. For we put Value on what something is worth.. The more something costs.. The better we think it is.. Because we put the amount of Dollars or Pounds in brackets and want to show everyone else how well we have done..
Look at ME.. I have succeeded.. Become Great..
Then the great want More.. So now they have everything.. But they want to CONTROL.. So they set about their agenda’s to control to make others feel small, so they themselves can feel great..
The Circle for ever spinning.. Until suddenly the Wheel stops..
We are driven by Ego.. Ego was in the beginning needed to drive us to aspire, to achieve. But now we have seen how Ego’s greed now has overtaken every aspect..
Nature competes, but natures laws understand Balance.. It doesn’t continue to collect, it shares, and it knows how to balance its numbers.. So it developed its own controls as other species keeps things in check, In the chain of life.
It is only Humans who have not learnt how to share so most live from a point of Lack.. Jealousies erupt of what others have, and they want.. So they derive ways in which they can get what they want.. And not all by fair means..
Happiness is being sought out through the pursuit of Having and Obtaining THINGS.. Which we have ingrained within us continually been taught we need and want..
Happiness is not found in Things.. But inside one’s own self.
I learnt long ago when I passed something I wanted, to say these words to myself.. Do I need it? I may want it, but do I really Need it..
When you ask yourself this you see what we collect is trivia..
The greatest treasures out there are found in our hearts..
And it may all start with a SMALL seed of Love or Compassion..
The trick is to allow it grow and bloom.. Then share the love..
When all us see this. Our perspectives will change.. There will be no small or large. Bigger or Better.. We shall be ONE.. ❤
Love to you dear Ka.. a wonderful read this Saturday morning xx
So wonderful to have your visit and exchange your thoughts as we grow in our perspectives, ever changing, witnessing, growing, and expanding. As you say with the small seed of compassion and allowing this to be our guide for all things, self and other – in unity, peace; expanding beyond fear, and allowing the witnessing of the overcoming of limitations perceived and otherwise…. all from that space of sincerity – no matter the size, place, or time….
Thank you so much for reading!
My Pleasure Ka. ❤
it is a smiley face
thank you for speaking
for the whole team, Ka
especially to those caught
in superiority & inferiority
nice being small
& not having to
duck down so often 🙂
I appreciate your reading and sharing your thoughts, David! 🙂
Another moment presented itself to add that
sometimes we are all engaged in inferiority and superiority complexes, myself included. My goal in writing was not to “other” but to express an exploratory point of view.
I appreciate your presence here and your contributing your response.
Love your thoughts here Ka. Wise and true 🙏🏻🌈
Thank you, Karen – I almost didn’t post this because I was exploring concepts ranging in depth, and feeling the nudge to share, but it was a challenge to get my thoughts out 🌈
I’m glad you did. 💚
I loved this post, Ka, and your exploration of these topics. I don’t know if you’ve gotten so far in A Course of Love as to discover the paragraph that says, “What then becomes the contribution, the unique contribution of each elevated Self of form? The contribution becomes a contribution from the well of spirit, from the shared consciousness of unity that finds its expression, its unique expression, through the elevated Self of form. Why would you retain your desire to make an individual contribution, when you can now make a contribution such as this? Is not your unique expression of the whole enough for you? Is it not infinitely greater than the contributions that are possible for the individual, separated self to make? Is not the history of your world filled with individual contributions of incredible scope?”
I think it is related to what you’ve described here… acknowledging the beauty and power of the unique ways we each extend and offer wholeness…
Lovely musings, my friend!
Thank you, Michael – yes – I had read that part but after I wrote this post. Part of what makes ACOL magical in my experience is that I often found myself writing about what was to be read before it was read. 🙂⭐️💗 or having a conversation with another or meditating on it before it showed in the book.
In fact – I read that part “why would you retain your desire?” last night and again this morning.
It is a magical book, and I will keep repeating that as long as I do…
Lovely evening to you, thank you for your visit 🙂
One moment is a bit of all moments all in one ☝️
One additional note – though all tied together in this post – there are several unique expressions of thought that laced themselves into this piece (a comment on Bourdain’s passing left in exchange with Sue, where I told her, for example in the comments on that post – also over the course of some time 🙂 and maybe not that much time, or even a moment ‘collapsed state of time’ perhaps…
I’m reminded of the Rumi quote that goes, “Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.” I can easily relate to that process as I inch toward just letting it all be. Two steps closer, one step back to bigness, and so on. My mother (who was short) used to say, “Good things come in small packages.”
Thank you for sharing these connections, JoAnna 🙂
JoAnna, I love that you brought Rumi and your mom into the mix. Surely your mom being right 🙂. Also the way you provide a glimmer of that bigness for us here to consider as we all wander close to it a little bit, at least. The beginning of Rumi’s quote (and I do enjoy reading Rumi) – “yesterday I was clever….” had me ready to laugh. The time for cleverness might be in the past, or in some hoped for future, but rarely when we are “being in the moment” and “simply existing” is our cleverness so self-aware. Maybe at these times, when simply existing, our cleverness is most self-evident and possibly unnecessary, or even better, effortless 🙂