The truth is you do make a difference in the world. Ryan Eliason thinks that we all make a difference. And I agree with him.
Ryan, in his manifesto for the Visionary Business School and Conscious Social Entrepreneurship Empowerment program, continues:
“YOU already are making a difference, whether you like it or not. Sometimes you have a negative impact, and sometimes you have a positive impact on the world. Every decision you make, and every action you take, no matter how seemingly insignificant, has a ripple effect on all life for all time.
Once you understand how deeply and intricately the web of life has been woven, how interdependent we all are, you will realise how important you are as an individual, as part of the whole.
(Ryan Eliason is the founder of Visionary Business School and the Social Entrepreneur Empowerment Network)
Mother nature is strong, and plants and trees will grow over time, but she will never be the same.
I have nothing against logging. I live in a house made of wood. I use paper products every day. I understand the necessity of logging. However, there are methods of harvesting trees that don‟t leave the entire forest decimated.
Coming back to my story, I returned to find multiple clear-cuts near my home. I walked out into one, with no expectation or agenda, and suddenly found myself on my knees sobbing.
Something in me cracked open. I had been overwhelmed my entire life by the types of problems I listed in the beginning of this chapter. Like everyone else I knew, I had become emotionally numb in order to function in the face of such overwhelming global problems.
But what I didn’t realize is that by numbing myself to my authentic feelings about the state of the world, I simultaneously closed my heart, and lost my full connection to my spiritual self, and to all beings everywhere.
The clear-cut was too powerful. It broke down the unconscious wall I had placed around my heart and my spiritual self.
The pain and the grief was intense. It actually had very little to do with the clear-cut. The clear-cut was just the catalyst that opened the door to all of the feelings I had been keeping at bay for so many years about the state of the world and the vast suffering that
Through the pain I found a love that was deeper and more all- encompassing than I had ever experienced in my entire life.
In that moment I consciously chose to open myself more than I ever had before to the truth of my being. Through the pain I found a love that was deeper and more all- encompassing than I had ever experienced in my entire life.
I found an all-encompassing acceptance of all people, all life forms, all beings that have lived before and ever will live. I felt in my bones that not only is everything connected in ways that we will never be able to understand, but we are also one being at the deepest level.
I’m not 100% certain, but I believe this was the kind of spiritual awakening that is described in many traditions. It’s just that I came about it in an unorthodox way. I stumbled upon the truth through my pain, and through opening myself with true compassion to the suffering of all beings.
One thing I do know for sure, is that this brief experience changed me forever.
And although it was incredibly painful, it is one of my most treasured memories. I pray that everyone catch even a glimpse of the magnificence of who we truly are.
If this can happen, the world can be healed. And something I know about the human heart, is that no matter how hardened and protected it has become, when it finally cracks open, there is something beautiful and sacred inside.
At the center of every human heart, we already know what we need to do to heal and transform our world. We already know the role that we are destined to play.
It’s just that sometimes we don’t allow ourselves to see it. Or perhaps a more accurate description would be to say that we don’t allow ourselves to “feel” it.
Because to recognize and fully embrace that you might have a grand purpose, that you may have been put here on this earth for a reason, can be intense and scary, but as a Visionary Business School Leader, you’ll make a difference for the better.
Fully recognizing this can change your life. This kind of realization can sometimes lead to a dramatic upheaval in your current circumstances. It might mean that you need to quit your job, dramatically change the nature of your most important relationships, move to another part of the world, start a business or nonprofit, and face your biggest fears along your path of service.
It’s no wonder we tend to simultaneously crave and resist discovering our most authentic and inspired sense of purpose in life.
We desire to live with a profound sense of purpose, because it brings meaning and passion to our lives. We avoid it because it puts us face-to-face with immense challenges, and it transforms our comfortable existence into an exciting and demanding adventure.
It takes courage and a strong intention to break through the unconscious resistance we all have to fully embracing a life of profound meaning and purpose.
However, this is an essential foundation to discovering and building a career or business that changes the world.
In my mind, all of those global problems that I listed in the beginning of this chapter are merely symptoms of more fundamental issues which we need to address as a human family.
First, we need to grow up emotionally. Human beings are collectively very emotionally immature. There is this thing called emotional intelligence, and we haven’t prioritized it as a species. We’ve focused primarily on developing our scientific, physical, mental and technological capacities while seriously neglecting our emotional development.
Just think what would be possible, if every child was taught how to be deeply compassionate with themselves and others. If we simply learn to process our emotions in a healthy way, we would keep our hearts open, we would be more compassionate, and all of our relationships would be far healthier and more fulfilling.
We also need to learn the importance of family and community, and to expand that to include the entire human family. There’s nothing wrong with being powerfully committed to getting our personal individual needs met, but far too many of us stop there. We might extend our sense of responsibility and commitment to those closest to us, but what about our neighbors. Most of us don’t even know our neighbors! What about the people living on the other side of the earth that you’ve never met. Why stop there? Could we extend our sense of compassion, and responsibility, to all life forms? Even to future generations?
If almost all of the world’s most pressing problems have been created by humans, then doesn’t it make sense that a shift in human consciousness is what’s needed most?
If we simply shift from patterns of selfishness and greed, to patterns of compassion, generosity, and love, I believe that all of the tangible problems will eventually get resolved.
We already know the tangible physical solutions to the world’s most pressing problems. We know what we need to do to reverse climate change. We know what we need to do to prevent war, to feed the hungry, to build ecologically sustainable societies, and to transform politics…”