Life is a Science, Meant to be Lived as an Art
Gloria Steinem, the feminist icon, said a wonderful thing when she was asked about moving people forward in the world of activism and how frustrating that could be. I liked her comment so much that I draw from it often, as a message of leadership and hope. As I recall, she said (the essence of her response, not an exact quote), there are three kinds of people:
1) The first are those who are not going to change no matter what you do; you just carry on with your work, carefully navigating around them, doing your best to keep things from getting worse, and eventually they will catch up; they will come along at some point;
2) The second are people who are malleable; you can work with them, educate them, and lead them to raise their consciousness. They may sometimes be neurotic, but they are also working on themselves diligently. These are seekers and collectively can be mobilized to create transformation.
3) The third are the culture-changers, the change-makers, the drivers of progress. They are not only working on themselves; they are moving everything and everyone forward. These are the leaders, teachers and healers. They are awake and awakening.
To this, I add my own take – that these three personas are inside each of us as well:
1) We all have some part within that is stubbornly resistant, digging in our heels, usually over beliefs vs ideas. But eventually, we catch up;
2) One-third within us is malleable; we are learning, like science. Science is always learning, discovering and growing;
3) And one third is committed to progress, as a pioneer. Everybody has that too.
Things are moving very quickly in our collective world, and soon our ancient and outdated distinctions will not be what makes somebody higher or lower caste. People have always been divided by the color of their skin, where they or their family exist in society, how much money they’ve got, how much knowledge they have, where they were born or where they live, who is in majority, what beliefs they hold dear, etc. But as we move through this millennium, the real differentiator will be – who’s more awake? People are either going to be fast asleep, lost in a kind of reactive trance, or they are going to be conscious and awake (or awakening). This is not a luxury. It is work.
This is a century of science. It doesn’t matter that some people don’t like to believe in science. Like it or not, science is our partner in this century. This is no longer an age of beliefs and philosophies. Life is now a science, meant to be lived as an art.