After another long week, the weekend is back! And boy am I excited! It’s time to head back to my favorite coffee shop for my favorite drink. My favorite caffeinated drink anyway. So anyway, on this very day I hopped out of bed with glee. Slid down the handrail like a rock stair, hopped out the door and seated myself on the trusted bicycle. And pedaled away. Into the distance.
Right into that pothole! Slam!
Like a mashed potato I stretch in all directions. Slowly get back up, shake myself off, and resume my trek to the coffee shop!
When I get to my favorite coffee shop my favorite waitress floats over and asks what I’d like. I beam, then mumble, “Just the normal.” Soon my favorite drink, well my favorite caffeinated drink, comes sliding over. As my angel floats away I remember that old letter I found lodged in my pocket after my sprawl last week. I reach into my left back pocket and slip it out. It’s time for further investigation. I slip it open and begin reading.
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“Good morning friend,” it begins.
“It’s been a while,”
!!!wait what?!!! This is not the letter I read last time. The one I put in my pocket. I keep reading.
“Yes. I know, it’s quite confusing. But have you forgotten how you found the first letter? I’ll bet it was no less confusing. But never mind that, come along, I have more to tell you about.
Today I have only one gift. But it’s a pretty amazing gift. Last week’s gifts were grace and peace. But today’s gift, today we’re talking about something else. The, if you will, gateway into the life of grace and peace.
Imagine with me. Imagine the following. Imagine a bunch of sheep following the leader. Following. The following sheep follow the forward fellow, the fellow in the front. They follow that lead and imitate what he does. They see. Do you see?
Now let me explain, it seems clear to me that society runs via a similar mechanism. This is a theory of Rene Girard called ‘Mimetic Desire.’ According to this idea we all learn how to act by seeing the examples of those around us. Of those in some place of authority over us. We see and repeat. Now generally this seeing and repeating is a repeated process from generations ago. But if somebody were to come up with a new pattern. A new way of doing life. A better way. And it stuck. If it gained momentum. It would change everything, wouldn’t it?
It’s what it would be like if you and your dad and his dad and your dad’s granddad were all taught and shown that life was about you. That the point was for ‘you’ to ‘survive.’ Every man for himself. Imagine what would happen if your son suddenly said, “Nah, it’s not just about me. It’s about the collective. It’s about the whole world. The whole galaxy! It’s about learning to give more and more and more! It’s about standing with the underdog.”
Then imagine if he tells his friends about this. And his kids. And his friends tell, and show, their kids. And his kids tell and show their friends, and their kids. And his friend’s friends tell and show their kids and friends. And his friend’s kids tell and show their kids and friends. Imagine the shift of consciousness? Imagine how things would change? And if somebody were to die. What if somebody was unable to see the power of this shift and became paranoid about the degradation of his culture and killed one of the instigators of this new way? Wouldn’t this just amplify the urgency of spreading this new way?
This individual would have died for the movement. And would, thereby, have created a foothold in the minds of all observers. This gift, this release would change the world. This is our salvation.
Are you ready to change the world?”
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I finish my drink. Return the mug. Slip the letter back in my back pocket and walk out the door, my mind a buzz.
‘Can I change the world?,’ as I peddle into the distance.