Beyond Like-Minded, We're Like-Hearted
Posted by Bijan Khazai on Apr 8, 2020
Last week, about hundred of us circled up for an insightful conversation on "What Would Love Do?" in this global pandemic. It was a real array of so many rich insights across timezones -- from UK to Central America; France to Romania to Germany; New York to California to India and beyond!
After a few highlights from our preceding call, Jane presenced the challenge and possibilities of time: "How do we maintain a full heart, an energetic heart, during what might be a long period of adjustment to the new conditions of this pandemic? Collectively, our interconnection and our interdependence are now in plain sight. What new systems and ideas are emerging as part of this adjustment?"
In an opening panel, various "love warriors" across the globe spoke on the challenges and opportunities of "the new normal" (as Ward dubbed) of these unprecedented days. "What breaks your heart, and what gives you hope?"
Kicking off the shares, journalist and media producer Sallyann in London noticed: "I started to feel at home in this coronavirus, because neighbors started coming together -- the unconditional love emerging has been a joy to behold." After the passing of her friend 88-year-old Harry, she reflected, "How to strike a balance between being rooted in the present while also proactively responding and contributing to the pressing needs of society at this time?" Systems innovator David in Costa Rica wondered how to inspire systems of selfless love -- of "hypercollaboration" -- in these times: "When you have a social network in which actions and contributions are motivated by love, then all of the other motivations that make us raise questions or have doubts about whether we should or shouldn't do something, just evaporate. Contributions can flow in a way where remarkable innovations can emerge."
Community builders Olivier and Jasky in France offered insights from Day 15 of lockdown. "Compassion comes from a place of stillness." "How can we channel our energy to serve others from where we are?" They described heartfelt virtual efforts to that end. Educator Marius in Romania quoted an elder's wisdom "One of the best strategies to handle any situation is to keep showing up with an open heart." With his elementary classes moved virtual, new creative ways of showing up for his students have surfaced -- including real-time acts of kindness in online class! Lara in New York City (a city that accounts for 40 percent of US coronavirus cases!) echoed the same phenomenon of gratitude to healthcare workers that Sallyann witnessed in London: "I heard clapping for two minutes straight on Friday night." She narrated potential shifts in our social systems, from evolutions in supply chain to the swing back to localism; from rise in conscious consumption to deliberate ways of gathering; from prison reform to heightened collective sensitivity: "How do we value the weakest among us?"
With so many perspectives swirling across airwaves, we dove into smaller breakout conversations and closed with a panel of "wisdom perspectives". Stephanie Nash in Los Angeles, a mindfulness teacher (whose brain's been studied by Harvard!), she described the practical ways our body posture affects the release of chemicals that correspond to certain moods and emotions. Ward Mailliard, an educational visionary and co-founder of a retreat center and community in California, offered artistic field notes :), observing: "We are in such good company ... With compassionate action, perhaps the new normal will be the future we want to live into."
With so much brimming over in our 90+ minutes together, we soaked it all in with a minute of silent gratitude, and waved goodbyes (and wished Happy Birthday to Mandy! :)). "Beyond like-minded, we are like-hearted," Stephanie had shared.
Stepping into the "new normal" of the unknown days that lay ahead, we can't help but be buoyed by the collective wisdom of our "like-heartedness".
Thank you all, for your kindred holding of shared values. We look forward to seeing what love will do. :)
What Would Love Do?: Watch or Listen To The Conversation.