Perseverance — Thx Meg Wheatley

One of the books I’m reading these days is Margaret Wheatley’s Perseverance. I’m reading one or two pages each day. It’s something about these times, these CoVid times, that has me reaching deeper to the internal with rigorous truth-telling. I’ve found myself oscillating — at times, wanting to numb to what is current. At times, wanting to wake fully to what is systems-crash reality.

Meg’s book Perseverance was published in 2010. She’s been speaking an important story for many years about the kind of change we humans will eventually face. It includes these key points and practices.

  • A systems level crash is upon us. Overdue in some way. Stunning. Impactful.  Once one system comes down, the interconnected other systems also come down. It’s negative emergence.
  • In such crash, as practice, it is important to commit to externalizing. “There is fear. There is despair. There is terror.” These statements are deliberate to nuance ourselves into what is universal, not just personal.
  • In such crash, the honest internal matters. It is deep inner work that will pull us through. Do the work on self first. Do it with community, but still with explicit attention to what is internal. What we feel on the internal will always influence what we experience on the external.

Meg has been training into a vow for many years, that I’m finding lends courage.

“I cannot change the way the world is. 
But by opening to the world as it is 
I may discover that gentleness, decency, and bravery are available,
not only to me but to all human beings.”

So here we are folks. The times call for us to be good to ourselves, to be good to each other, those on our left and those on our right. The times require an awakening that is so much more than waiting for the “old normal” to return.

The times call for what has always been called for, but perhaps more poignantly in this pandemic — our perseverance to wake and face the day as it is.