What Would Happen . . .
What would happen if . . .
Doing one thing at a time was enough.
We trusted that taking care of ourselves would have an equally positive effect on others.
We wondered more. We began with curiosity rather than opinions.
We re-found our kid-like sense of awe.
We lived by the credo that there’s room enough for all of us—and made room for those who need it.
We trusted that generosity multiplies. That kindness begets kindness.
We forgot what we already know in order to be beginners from time to time.
We remembered what’s still wild—and defended it in ourselves, each other, the world.
We tuned-in to our own hum.*
(*Book artist and writer Suzi Banks Baum said something like that recently, and my response was: ahh. Yes. She also wrote her own version of this list. Read hers here, it begins with morning birdsong.)
What I just wrote is a response to something Seth Godin posted recently. Once I’d read his “what if” proposals, my own appeared easily during a quick free-write, thanks to his example. My friend Sara Nolan saw this opportunity, as well, and created a writing prompt for her students who are all writing college entrance exams. You can see how this is a great way to get at a personal philosophy. Sara’s list begins “What would happen if we chose to say what we mean without being mean.” What if?
If you have the urge, please share your own proposal in the comments area. (Be sure to look at Seth’s if you need a little provocation.)
By the way, I first came across Seth Godin a couple of years ago when he was interviewed by Krista Tippet on her wonderful radio show, On Being. It’s one of my favorite podcasts for ideas, poetry, and conversations about what it means to be human and to seek meaning. The most recent conversation, with Alain de Botton has been on my mind all week. I may post about it in the coming days.
Thanks for reading.