Courage is a Love Affair with The Unknown
“Alice: How long is forever?
White Rabbit: Sometimes, just one second” Lewis Carroll
Life seems like that sometimes. I remember years ago that we were driving north on I-5 in Oregon and we had just crested the top of a hill around Roseberg. You could see quite a ways in front of you as the road sloped down into a valley. Ahead of us was a semi tractor trailer and he ran over something like shiny metal in the road. Immediately his tires blew and he started swerving and then the whole rig tipped onto it’s side. For a moment it was like slow motion, I could see so many small details as the whole scene played out like a movie. Then whoosh, time sped back up and my husband was pulling off the road and running back to make sure the driver was ok. He was just shocked by what had happened. But for me, it was the weirdest experience of time I have ever had. It was like the rabbit said, forever came in just one second.
Alice’s courage with the unknown in Wonderland, came from a great deal of curiosity. She fell into an unknown world of adventure, and nothing was as it should be. Sometimes in our life, we feel like that. The world around us seems out of control. We might think like Alice “I knew who I was this morning, but I’ve changed a few times since then”.
In order to embrace change, we need a great deal of courage. Change in our lives today is speeding up, faster and faster. This speed of change is impacting every facet of our lives. It changes the education system, the business world, and our personal lives. I saw a cute video the other day where the family was in a hotel room and the dad handed the telephone receiver to his young daughter to hang it up and she didn’t know what to do. All she had experience with was a cell phone.
Technology changes our world moment by moment. Political upheaval can change borders in a moment. Our belief systems can swing from one absolute truth, to a new absolute truth. It takes a lot of courage to stay in that place of curiosity and not become mired into taking rigid stands against someone whose belief is different from us. It takes a lot of courage to change beliefs that we have had for a long time, and have to finally acknowledge that we have outgrown them.
It takes a lot of courage to have a love affair with the unknown – it means that we are constantly learning something new and each new thing means we let go of an old belief. You may think like Alice “this is impossible” but as the Mad Hatter replied, “Only if you think it is.” My favorite line is “Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”
Enjoy the journey, do the impossible, and be a just a tiny bit Mad like the Mad Hatter.