‘The forward leaning posture is teachable.’*
‘Stories are powerful. Because we all become the stories we tell ourselves.’**
Michelangelo’s unfinished sculptures in the Accademia Gallery in Florence provide us with a picture of human becomings, struggling to be free.
Steve Peters, originator of the term “chimp paradox,” believes our evolutionary past still holds sway over us today. Perhaps there’s even a connection between how male and female chimps behave with empire building. As my friend Alex McManus would say, we are the slave-making species. It’s things like this that have led people like naturalist David Attenborough to describe the human species as a plague on this planet.
This is only part of the picture, though: Attenborough pointing this out is saying something about how we know we can be something else. We’re the infinitely learning species, able to learn and behave in new ways, even empires learned to ‘adopt ideas, norms and traditions from wherever they found them’^ But again, this only part of the picture.
We’re capable of so much more. Brave people have been forged as they have taken on the elements or some great human or planetary need, and we are all called by birth to be explorers of shaping a better future for all, making it possible for everyone to bring their very best not only to other humans but to the planet of which we are a part rather than apart.
In these ways we are learning to lean into the future, we are learning how to tell a better story.