That Essence, That Kernel....
I watched the film, 127 Hours, which portrays Aron Ralston's 2003 ordeal in Robbers Roost this evening with a friend. I was touched by the rawness of the story and the cinematography was even more surprised by how well it demonstrated a point I was making this evening on a panel discussion at Soltane on why people do what they do. When I was asked to describe what I do, I decided not to begin to list off the extensive array of projects, initiatives, groups I am involved in and try to explain them, but, rather, to speak to the heart of how all of what I am doing makes sense to me, in my head and heart.
I spoke about "the essence," that thing that compels people to try to achieve their dreams, that inspires them to say "Yes!" to the call and to jump into their work and to face all odds, and all challenges. It is the same kernel of energy, of oomph, of motivation that empowers us to get up in the morning, to face the day, to embrace the struggles, to continue on no matter how tired, downtrodden, whatever we are. I realize that in all that I do, it is this which I work for, which I serve. It's that which inspires us to strive, to try, to work, to do, to give, to love, to offer up. It's something powerful. For now, it has no name, so I call it what it is--an essence.
And when I spoke, I had a particular clarity inside myself and when I shared that experience with a friend later, I marveled at how spot-on I had been in my little speech: all my work, that which revolves around youth and writing and communication and facilitation is, in fact, a humanatarian service of hosting, facilitation, connection, communication. But that service is inspired by and committed to the essence, the little nudge or the giant boost that propels us forward.
It is what enables us to abandon, at times, the petty and the mundane and to truly connect to something greater than ourselves. It's what emerges when there is tragedy, or when there is struggle; it is what emerges when we see others in pain and know that we can help and then do so. It's that which encourages us to stand up for the Truth. So, tonight, I am aware of the essence and how it can motivate people to do absolutely extraordinary things--from changing the world, to overcome all seeming odds, to simply getting up and getting on.