I suppose some would call me naive. I do, after all, believe that we can change the world… one village at a time. I hear, and maybe it’s just in my own head, “Nate, how are you going to provide for a family? Why are you not making much money? Are you saving anything? When are you going to get a real job?” Get practical. Budget (hey! I do that!).
I think there is part of me, festering there from traditional, commercialistic societal messages, saying I can’t really make money building community and connecting people. Maybe there isn’t a place in our current economic world for visionaries. It seems that the message we often hear is that it’s ok to think outside the box for a while, but eventually we need to grow up and get real. Better to build the bank account and make decisions from practicality rather than from a place of principle, values, and vision.
There is a Proverb that says,
Where there is no vision, the people perish.
Bill Plotkin writes, in Soulcraft,
Even in Western society, our deepest yearnings go far beyond a vacation or retirement. We long for a vision of our destiny, and, eqully, for a way to carry that vision as a gift to others.
A task without a vision is just a job.
A vision without a task is just a dream.
A vision with a task can change the world.
It is sacred work, this “vision with a task,” that we seek, individually and collectively. The rarity of finding sacred work is at the root of our Western despair and sorrow. When not acknowledged and embraced, our grief is acted out through violence, against ourselves, each other, and the environment. Unacknowledged grief also manifests as depression, anxiety, and a growing sense of meaninglessness.
So I would much rather hear what someone is passionate about than what they are making. I would rather hear about the joys they are finding in giving their gifts to the world than hear about the latest “toy” they bought or expensive vacation they just took for themselves. I want to hear about the giveaway, not the take-away.
How are you changing the world? That’s what I want to hear! And if it has a “You are so naive” attached to it… that’s ok with me. Where there is no vision, the people will perish.
What’s your vision?