What are mountains for?

I see our national parks as our ongoing struggle as a diverse people to create circles of reverence in a time of collective cynicism where we are wary of being moved by anything but our own clever perspective… The nature of our national parks is bound to the nature of our own humility, our capacity to stay open and curious in a world that instead beckons closure through fear.


Our national parks are blood. They are more than scenery, they are portals and thresholds of wonder, an open door that swings back and forth from our past to our future.*
(Terry Tempest-Williams)

Mountains can be obstacles or achievements.

They can be places to be lost or places where we get found.

They can be places to escape or places to gain perspective.

However we see a mountain, climbing them often demands effort.

All of these things mean mountains provide us with great metaphors and analogies.  Never mind the elephant in the room, what about the mountain?:

‘There is something bigger going on, which is establishing cultural norms, appropriate behaviour and mindset are essential for organisational well-being.’**

Hugh Macleod is reflecting on the bigger issue behind the recent Starbucks’ cultural blindness.  There are coffees to be made, tables to be cleared, profit sheets demanding our attention.  Who has time to to look at the mountain, never mind climb it?

‘If we only pay attention to things that we can measure, we will only pay attention to the things that are easily measurable.  And in the process, we will miss a lot.’^

Okay, mountains have summits that can be measured, but beyond this, there’s a transformative story to be found through climbing

(*Terry Tempest-Williams, quoted in Maria Popova’s Brain Pickings: The Hour of Land.)
(**From gapingvoid’s blog: Make mine a bias-free latte.)
(^From Youngme Moon’s Different.)

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