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One story for times of despair

Rachel Naomi Remen recalled in a podcast interview with Krista Tippett the story her grandfather gave her as a gift for her 4th birthday: the story of the birthday of the world.

In the beginning, there was only the Holy Darkness, the source of life. Then, from the heart of the Holy Darkness emerged a great ray of light, the world of 1,000 things.

But there was an accident: the vessels containing the light of the world, the wholeness of the world, broke. The light of the world was scattered into 1,000 fragments of light which fell into all events and all people, where they remain deeply hidden to this very day.

This story, according to her grandfather, reflects that we are all here because we are born with the capacity to find the hidden light in all events and all people and to make it visible again.

This is a powerful story about what human beings bring to the world and why we are here.

When we feel that we are not enough, that we don’t have what is needed to make a difference, that we lack knowledge, ideas, expertise, time, or money, this story comes to rescue us.

What if you’re exactly what is needed? How would you live your life if you knew that what you’re doing right now is all that’s needed in the world at this precise moment?

If we think about what we do in terms of individual success it’s easy to despair because there’s always more to get, more to achieve, and we either lose or win. But if we think about what we do as a collective effort to do something that matters, to transform something that needs to be transformed, then the words “enough” and “contribution” can replace  “winning” or “losing.”

Partnerships, mentoring, collaboration, platforms, the circular economy, the sharing economy are here because we all feel the need to work from a place where success is not defined exclusively in individual and financial terms.

As in the story of the birthday of the world, we all have a role to play in this infinite game of contributing and being enough. And once you decide to play, not for the prize but for the sake of the journey, the joy comes in understanding that the only rule that matters is making sure you shine a light on whatever you touch with your business, life, art, or work.



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