‘We define ourselves as doers. Changers. People who push on towards a goal. […] To be a doer is more than a name; it’s an action-by-action choice. […] We’ve chosen to be doers – so we get things done.’*
We’re here. It’s as if the universe, our god, our muse has given an “A” to us and waits to see what we’ll do with it. We’ve stumbled on obedience.
Obedience is what happens when we begin to weave stories, to make things live.
I thought about doing this so I tried it and guess what!
Obedience feels very different when it swells up from inside us rather than being forced upon us from outside. This obedience is about doing what our lives tell us we must do – it still requires effort but it’s the kind of stuff that changes the world.
Bernadette Jiwa tells the story of Susan Beal who visited 500 families that’d experienced the loss of their baby to SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). I can’t imagine what this felt like, to visit these families in the first, most raw hours following a baby’s death, but the findings led to public education that is saving hundreds of thousands of lives.**
This feels very much like a story of obedience, the thing Susan Beal knew she MUST do.
Peter Senge helps us to see why this kind of obedience is so necessary when he writes:
‘the vast changes required by a regenerative society will not be achieved just by reacting to crises after they arrive. They will require inspiration, aspiration, imagination, patience, perseverance, and no small amount of humility’.^
Jonah Lehrer perhaps puts a finger on why this kind of obedience to our lives is so hard when he writes:
‘The art that makes us feel is the art that makes us hurt.’^^
Joseph Campbell frames this in a different way when he speaks of our need to make sense of our lives:
‘To be in accord with the grand symphony that the world is, to put the harmony of our own body in accord with that harmony.’*^
Eugene Peterson offers what I think is another layer of seeing to this:
‘all life is given and must continue to be given to be true to its nature’.^*
(*From gapingvoid’s blog: Doing the Authentic.)
(**See Bernadette Jiwa’s Hunch.)
(^From Peter Senge’s The Necessary Revolution.)
(^^From Jonah Lehrer’s Proust was a Neuroscientist.)
(*^Joseph Campbell in Jospeh campbell and Bill Moyers’ The Power of Myth.)
(^*From Eugene Peterson’s Run with the Horses.)