Forum Post: THE EMPEROR & HIS CLOTHES: When individuals speak the plain truth OUT LOUD, they can bring down citadels of falsity.
Posted 4 years ago on Dec. 22, 2012, 6:54 a.m. EST by therising
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The magnificent quote below is from an essay written by John O'Donohue. It specifies how we as individuals can absolutely help change the "tenor of the times" and thereby help create real change on the ground for real people. How wonderful to discover that we are not powerless at all. We have the power to turn this world around.
John O'Donohue explained it this way:
"Sometimes when we look out, the world seems so dark. War, violence, hunger and misery seem to abound. This makes us anxious and helpless. What can I do in my private little corner of life that could have any effect on the march of world events? The usual answer is: nothing. We then decide to do what we can for our own, and leave the great events to their domain. Thus, we opt out, and join the largest majority in the world : those who acquiesce. Believing ourselves to be helpless, we hand over all our power to forces and systems outside us that then act in our names; they go on to put their beliefs into action; and ironically these actions are often sinister and destructive.
We live in times when the call of full and critically aware citizenship could not be more urgent. We need to rediscover the careless courage, yet devastating simplicity, of the little boy who, in the middle of the numbered multitude, in naive Socratic fashion, blurts out; " But the emperor has no clothes." When spoken, the word of truth can bring down citadels of falsity.
Real presence is the ideal of all true individuation. When we yield to helplessness, we strengthen the hand of those who would destroy. When we choose indifference, we betray our world. Yet the world is not decided by action alone. It is decided more by consciousness and spirit; they are the secret sources of all action and behavior. The spirit of a time is an incredibly subtle, yet hugely powerful force. And it is comprised of the mentality and spirit of all individuals together. Therefore, the way you look at things is not simply a private matter. Your outlook actually and concretely affects what goes on. When you give in to helplessness, you collude with despair and add to it.
When you take back your power and choose to see the possibilities for healing and transformation, your creativity awakens and flows to become an active force of renewal and encouragement in the world. In this way, even in your own hidden life, you can become a powerful agent of transformation in a broken, darkened world. There is a huge force field that opens when intention focuses and directs itself toward transformation."
The last line kind of pairs nicely with this quote you've probably seen from Goethe:
"Until one is committed, there is a hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative and creation, there is one elementary truth - the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans; that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favor all manor of unforseen incidents and meetings and material assistance which no man could have dreamed would come his way. Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now."
Let's go to it. Let's "rediscover the careless courage, yet devastating simplicity, of the little boy who, in the middle of the numbered multitude, in naive Socratic fashion, blurts out; 'But the emperor has no clothes.' When spoken, the word of truth can bring down citadels of falsity." Let's each be that boy. Let's each speak the plain truth out loud.
We can't sit on the sidelines. Remember, Martin L. King, Jr. didn't let us off the hook at all. He once said this:
"History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people.”
It's time for us to speak up.