THE BEAUTY OF CHAOS
Setting: Training on how to create supportive environments for children in after school programs.
Situation: The director presented 3 hypothetical vacation options, all expenses paid:
1. Hunterwitz, a predictable village of 3,000 people. For their assured safety, guests wouldn’t be allowed to leave their hotel rooms. Food, a meeting with the mayor, and entertainment were all delivered to them at their room.
2. A 5-star hotel in the destination of their choice with a concierge to set them up with expeditions, translators, and transportation to wherever they chose.
3. Being dropped off in a random city where they didn’t know the language, the culture, or the exchange rate.
Given that we were an entirely American audience, nearly everyone chose option 2. One person chose option 1 as she wanted a break to retreat from the world. I chose option 3 and here was my answer when I was asked why:
The third option is an opportunity to evolve. Going through that sort of experience will change you. You’ll be a stronger human. That is the way that I have traveled and it taught me that I can handle anything. Drop me off at any city and I know I will survive. The level of comfort that brings to day to day life is incredible. It brings such freedom, such security to life – knowing that I can survive, that I can thrive, in any circumstance. The world is always changing, always throwing new challenges at us. Deal with radical change once and you’ll feel prepared to do it for years to come. For your whole life, you’ll know you have it deep down in you, somewhere.
Plus, that sort of experience puts you in touch with the nature of the Universe. When we have to rely on that which is out of our control, we realize how much the Universe will take care of us, how much that which we truly need is brought to us. Only in what seems like chaos can we experience the incredibly deep order of the Universe, the order that comforts our souls, that brings us such peace, such tranquility. That relationship with the Universe is what we all want so badly but our over-planned, over-secure “vacations” keep us so disconnected from reality. They reinforce the myth that we need to control, that we need to plan to enjoy peace, which just results in anxiety in day to day life.
This sort of journey puts us into positions to connect with people on such deep levels too. Being lost in a foreign land puts one in a position to experience the hospitality, the love, the purity of others. Sure there is risk that people will try and maybe succeed at ripping us off. But there is always the chance that we will see someone respond to us with the best part of their hearts and that is one of the few things that might give our souls hope in humanity in our troubled times. On the flip side, people nearly always see 5-star travelers as cash machines and those travelers will probably experience the greed of others. The belief that their worth is based on their wealth will be reinforced and that belief brings such pain and such sadness.
I would much prefer to experience the world as it is rather than see it through my narrow lens of my manipulated reality. I don’t wish to watch a show. I wish to be a dancer.
Maybe natural chaos isn’t the best for kids, but I much prefer it in my life. Or perhaps chaos is perfect for kids. Maybe the chaos from my childhood made me the spirit of the wind I am today. I suppose a child has different needs, but one truth remains:
Chaos is necessary for all who may ever wish to understand what it is to be human, to understand what it means to be a part of this world, a part of this Universe. Perhaps the best things we can do in our lives and the best thing to help children with is to learn how to embrace chaos and be conscious and comfortable with the beautiful order of the Universe.