Last week, I wrote about how what we create, in turn, creates us. While it is certainly an important truth to consider in our personal lives, more recently I have been thinking about it from the perspective of what we are creating as a society. What might change in our collective choices, decisions, and actions if we first consider who we are likely to become as a society because of those choices? What might become possible if we make sure that everything that we create is in alignment with who we are deep in the heart of our being?

The poem, “It Is I Who Must Begin,” (see below) by Czech playwright and later Czech president Václav Havel seems like a perfect follow up to last week’s article. Havel speaks so eloquently about our responsibility to begin whatever it is that we are called to do – to just start, without excuses, even when we don’t know how. Just start. He reminds us that by starting down that road, an important discovery happens:

…once I try
to live in harmony
with the “voice of Being,” as I
understand it within myself,
I suddenly discover
that I am not the only one,
nor the first,
nor the most important one
to have set out
upon that road.

We discover that we are not alone – that there are other people who are answering the same call – that there are others with whom to partner for support, learning, encouragement, and for getting it done.

The closing lines of the poem bring the responsibility for what we create as a society back home to us.

Whether all is really lost
or not depends entirely on
whether or not I am lost.

Václav Havel reminds us that knowing ourselves – who we are called to be, and what we are called to do – is the key to transforming our world. We don’t have to know how to do what we feel called to do. We just need to know ourselves. The same can be said for us as a society. When we find ourselves as a society, then together we can accomplish anything. Enjoy the poem.

 

It Is I Who Must Begin
by Václav Havel
(from Teaching With Fire)

It is I who must begin.
Once I begin, once I try –
here and now,
right where I am,
not excusing myself
by saying things
would be easier elsewhere,
without grand speeches and
ostentatious gestures,
but all the more persistently
– to live in harmony
with the “voice of Being,” as I
understand it within myself
– as soon as I begin that,
I suddenly discover,
to my surprise, that
I am neither the only one,
nor the first,
nor the most important one
to have set out
upon that road.

 Whether all is really lost
or not depends entirely on
whether or not I am lost.

 

P.S. If you found this post or Václav Havel’s poem interesting or thought-provoking, write a comment below and let’s get a conversation going. By sharing insights and perspectives, we all stretch our awareness and understanding.

 

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