I crave companions, not competitors. I want people to sail with me through this puzzling and frightening world. I expect to fail at moments on this journey, to get lost – how could I not? And I expect that you too will fail. Even our voyage is cyclical – we can’t help but move from old to new to old. We will vacillate, one day doing something bold and different, excited over the progress, the next day, back to old behaviors, confused about how to proceed. We need to expect that we will wander off course and not make straight progress to our destination. To stay the course, we need patience, compassion, and forgiveness. We need to require this of one another. It will help us be bolder explorers. It might keep us from going mad.
This is a strange world and it promises only to get stranger. Niels Bohr, the great quantum physicist, once said that great ideas, when they appear, seem muddled and strange. They are only half-understood by their discoverer and remain a mystery to everyone else. But if an idea does not appear bizarre, he counseled, there is no hope for it. So we must live with the strange and the bizarre, directed to unseen lands by faint glimmers of hope. Every moment of this journey requires that we be comfortable with uncertainty and appreciative of chaos’ role. Every moment requires that we stay together. After all is said and done, we have the gift of each other. We have each other’s curiosity, wisdom, and courage. And we have Life, whose great ordering powers, if we choose to work with them, can make us even more curious, wise and courageous.
– Margaret Wheatley