Thursday, April 21, 2011

Macro issues, micro application

I spent a lot of time en route. NPR has become a wonderful traveling companion. In January, much of the air time I heard was spent investigating the changes and challenges in Egypt. I was so impressed by the non-violence and the effectiveness of a large population to create such a drastic, positive change for social justice.

Hearing these stories reminded me of the energy of my dancers. They each have a very unique voice, but together, they can sing harmoniously - if that choice is made. They could also create dramatic dissonance should they not come together.

Globally, I was more impressed to hear about the challenges of Libya. I understand that both of these situations are extremely complex. But, in my very simple, very limited understanding of these huge issues, there are some similarities. Both situations began with young people wanting social change. Both situations demanded a change in the way the people were being governed. Both situations involved large groups protesting. However, the situation in Egypt was much more peaceful that what we're seeing evolve in Libya. Why? What was different? What choices were made that provided the different outcomes?

How is this relate-able to a small community several thousands of miles away? I asked my dancers this question.

From an outsider's perspective, it seems that two similar situations had very different consequences based upon choices that were made. I challenged my dancers to look into their own lives and see if there were choices they made that resulted in conflict or other choices that resulted in non-violent resolution. Each side needs to give a little and negotiate. However, choices decide the result. And there is always a choice.

On a macro level, is this piece about Cairo? Maybe... but it's more about how individuals can come together to create peaceful, positive, social change. We have so many examples in our immediate situation to which we can relate. On a micro level, it's about how these young dancers can make decisions within their own lives that shape their immediate future and the future of those around them. These decisions can be as "small" as being frustrated with something (a grade; someone wearing the same clothes) and starting an argument with someone or taking a deep breath and trying to see the situation from another perspective (maybe they really could have put more effort into the work; maybe that other person has really good taste). In both instances, energy is sent out into the greater universe. We get to choose if that is positive or negative energy. And that will cycle back in some way.

My choice is to strive for the positive change. This is a contact challenge, but I believe the reward will be great.

No comments:

Post a Comment