When it comes to all the voices speaking into this modern world, who we choose to listen to and the attitudes with which they’re choosing to approach our complex realities must be important in terms of the influence it’s likely to have on us. While we might have almost endless options within all that’s currently being pumped out into the world, how much is truly valuable for where it’s likely to lead?
Sometimes it seems quite incredible how much is being churned out each day – all these new perspectives joining in our already quite intensely populated global conversation (Notes One). Almost as if there’s this new digestive process accompanying our life on earth, as we all consume this constant commentary, deconstruction and analysis of everything that’s going on within and between all our various groupings.
What are we to make of it? Presumably it could become quite a paralysing level of self-awareness, as everything’s drawn into this intense scrutiny from every conceivable perspective. As if almost nothing can emerge unscathed from that kind of multifaceted critical analysis. Few actions seem like they could withstand it – bringing to mind the Buddhist notion of not taking a step for fear of treading on ants.
Not to say there’s not immense value in expanding our awareness to see things from every angle as we reflect on the impacts we’re having in life and best way to be living it, but aren’t people generally both flawed and limited in outlook? While this new, global conversation increasingly asks that we see from all sides, don’t we traditionally tend to look mainly in the light of own perspectives and interests? (Notes Two)
In that context, I find the contributions of Rich Roll and his longstanding podcast pretty valuable in the sense that they both acknowledge the struggles yet set the target high in terms of self-development. His own personal story, and those he tends to draw out from the lives of his guests, often focussing on this fundamentally human journey from limitations, wounds and flaws through to insight, mastery and transformation.
Isn’t it fairly common? That people have a dream, a vision or gift we can offer the world, but also need to face up to this other side of ourselves which often tends to work against our higher ideals and threaten to tear down any success we might hope to achieve. Each person, perhaps, existing somewhere between their light and their darkness – the blessings and the challenges – as we seek our path in life (Notes Three).
Delving into fundamental questions around what it is to be human and what we might be able to make of whatever situations we’re finding ourselves within seems so valuable. This basic attitude of hope and belief in what’s possible when we commit to working on ourselves and expanding our level of understanding to create the solutions we desperately need.
Whether we’re talking on the personal or collective level, it’s an outlook that could perhaps help make all the difference.
Notes and References:
Rich Roll website, with links to his podcast, blog and other activities: https://www.richroll.com/
Note 1: What is the public conversation?
Note 1: Attention as a resource
Note 1: Where do we get our ideas from?
Note 1: Inspiring people and ideas
Note 2: Understanding what we’re all part of
Note 2: Joining the dots
Note 2: Integrity and integration
Note 3: Complication of being human
Note 3: Will things change if we don’t make them?
Note 3: Letting people change
Note 3: Starting over in life
Ideas around how we use our opportunity to contribute to conversations was also one part of Things we give voice to.