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A time to dare

 

It’s time to dare.

 The true treasures of life are not to be found in a bank on Wall Street or anywhere else — no matter how majestic or important the bank may seem to be — but in our own heart.

It seems to me that those who share in the “Occupy Wall Street” movement burgeoning around the world are reminding us of this ancient truth. They want a chance to fulfill their true potential in life. They want some fair ground rules established so that everyone has a chance to fulfill their true potential.

And they are not alone. Just this morning I was reading of a network of over 700 business leaders and wealthy individuals in the top five percent of income and/or wealth in the US that advocates for fair taxes and corporate accountability. “Occupy Wall Street is a budding movement that can be a tipping point for what we at United For A Fair Economy have been working toward,” says the network on its blog. “For a decade and a half we have fought to push inequality to the center of the tax and economic policy debates in order to build an economy that works for all people.”

It is a dream that will not come true without daring.

A time to dare

Our heart loves to dare. It is one of our most precious attributes, a gift we must never surrender. Daring makes it possible for us to follow our dream and meet the challenges of life no matter how daunting they may appear to our mind’s eye. Daring has magic in it. It guards the gate of freedom. It makes it possible to find happiness and inner peace, and opens the door to beauty.

Without daring, how can we possibly give the gift we came to give, or find our true destiny?

How a bicycle opened a door to freedom

When I was 15 or 16 my parents gave me a new bicycle for my birthday. It was a real grownup’s bicycle with racing handlebars, very flashy, and smart. A beautiful pale blue. It got me dreaming immediately.

I was an only child living with my parents in a traditional middle-class suburb in South London. But suddenly, a new world beckoned. Soon after I got my hands on this bicycle, a brilliant idea bloomed in my mind. I could go on a cycling trip across England, staying at youth hostels.

I remember to this day how magical the feeling of freedom and daring was. It was intoxicating. I bought a bunch of maps. I plotted and planned. And how I appreciate, with hindsight, the forbearance and trust of my parents in letting me go. The open road was before me and it gave me an opportunity to experience an aspect of myself I had never experienced before. A love of adventure. A love of freedom.

Daring has magic in it

Daring has magic in it, as I say. It is as critical to our health and well being – and the health and well being of this planet — as our heart, our liver, or any other aspect of our being.

Daring does not only relate to outer activities and adventure. It relates to our inner life too. As the author Eudora Welty pointed out: “A sheltered life can be a daring life as well. For all serious daring starts from within.”

Daring will not only bring us through the challenges we face. It will open a door to the truth at the core of our existence in which all true meaning and happiness eternally reside.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the above. Do you have any experiences of daring in your own life you’d like to share?

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Picture credit:  Scooby39

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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Gail Brenner (AFlourishingLife) October 17, 2011 at 9:54 pm

Hi Chris,
I love this idea of daring, and I think I am in the Eudora Welty camp. The most profound way I have found to be daring is to give up any inclination to believe my thoughts. I think the question is: Can I dare to be totally present and not move, no matter what. Makes for a beautiful life.
Gail Brenner (AFlourishingLife) recently posted..Stuck in a Rut? Start Asking Questions

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Christopher Foster October 18, 2011 at 10:02 am

Your words shine Gail. I agree totally. I have to admit I’ve never read Eudora Welty but she must have been a wise woman. Just like you.

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The Vizier October 18, 2011 at 8:56 am

Hi Christopher,

Necessary change never happens without the courage to dare. It is the strength and drive behind this daring that is needed to overcome the inertia of the status quo. The more entrenched and harmful the status quo, the greater the need and drive for daring. For only then will we be able to bring about the change that leads to freedom, happiness and inner peace.

Indeed daring is, as you say, critical to our health and the well being of this very planet. There are too many problems around the world which persist because the strength to dare is not sufficient to change it. It could also be a matter of timing. The need to dare is not powerful enough and a leader who will unite the people has not appeared to bring about the change. If we were truly united in the world today, we would be able to solve most of our problems easily because we would channel our daring at the problems and not at each other.

Thank you for sharing this lovely article! :)

Irving the Vizier
The Vizier recently posted..How to Manage Complacency

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Christopher Foster October 18, 2011 at 9:59 am

Thank you for your comment Irving, your comments are always an inspiratjion and a delight. Just like your posts. You write so clearly and express yourself so well.

For some reason as I sit here tapping out a response to your comment I think to myself for a moment about the daring of life itself. The daring of this universe in which we live. None of this is in the realm of my conscious understanding of course. But life has shown a lot of trust in us, it seems to me. It trusts we will rise to the occasion, so to speak, and be the daring, loving people who, as you say, “channel our daring at the problems and not at each other.”

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Angela Artemis/Poweredbyintuition October 18, 2011 at 1:29 pm

Chris,
I love the notion of “daring.” I dare to dream and dare to make those dreams a reality. That’s an exciting thought. I sympathize with the occupy wall street movement. Having spent nearly 25 years working in finance I can understand their frustrations.
Angela Artemis/Poweredbyintuition recently posted..The Chasm Between Wishful Thinking and Faith and Why Zombies are Soulless

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Christopher Foster October 19, 2011 at 10:41 am

Angela, it’s such a pleasure to hear from you. Your words excite me. I’m with you 100 percent. May we all dare to dream, just as you say — and dare to make our dreams a reality.

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sheila October 18, 2011 at 2:14 pm

Great post Christopher

As one of your commenters said, “Necessary change never happens without the courage to dare ” Just read in a newspaper in Vancouver BC, how its become so expensive to buy homes that young couples cannot afford to buy a home if they have children, and how couples today simply forgo having a child because of costs.

Another article from a US newspaper told about the rise of luxury items now being sold again, bought by the affluent. The last 50 years we have seen a lifestyle of having it all, the wonders of stuff that we can readily fill our closets with.

My point…Can we finally dare to say what has happened in the past 3 years since the Great Recession began should be the Great Eye opener? Can we take the good that has come to society but lose the attitude of more is better?

The rich can’t keep getting richer, the poor getting poorer. Can we dare to say that family should be our success and not what we drive, or the biggest house that can be acquired. We have run ourselves in circles getting it all and what is the cost? We seem to be in a bit of a pickle these days…

Dare to say enough and get back to the simple basics of life for all..
cheers
Sheila

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Christopher Foster October 19, 2011 at 10:38 am

Good for you Sheila. Thank you so much for taking the time to share your thoughts. I love what you say about daring to say “enough.” The drive for “more” in the external sense can become an addiction that instead of bringing true happiness, brings a desire for more, and more, and then still “more,” as the hoped for happiness never quite seems adequate, never quite materializes.

It’s a wise person who remembers those “simple basics” of which you speak. Exciting times we live in, eh?

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Don Giannatti October 18, 2011 at 4:41 pm

Dare I say that the folks you refer to as wanting to ‘dare’ are the farthest from it. I have been to three of the OW groups and not found anyone there looking to fulfill a dream – other than to take something from someone with little or no effort.

Redistrubution is not daring – it is cowardice and pathetic. Daring were the ones who worked to create and provide. Those that come in the night to take without earning or to deride that which was not their calling are no more brave than home invaders who pistol whip their victims before ‘redistributing’ their life savings.

Never in my life have I seen something so terribly upside down and duplicitous. The people who caused this are standing on the side cheering for the rabble to give them even more power to continue.

And the poor, mostly greedy people in the streets are portrayed as heroes and Robin Hoods, when in fact they would take all they could and more and never look back.

Such a sad commentary on our current situation that fantasy and “I wish it so” has replaced the ethos of effort and savings. To hear them whine about their student loans (loans which they applied for) while typing on their MacBookPro’s, and chatting on the iPhones tells me exactly who they are. (I wish I could afford a MacBookPro – but I am busy working, paying my bills and taxes and providing for a family. I am saving up for one though. In a bank.)

So sad that good people, with hearts in the right place, are so easily taken in by some sort of romantic “Robin Hood” scenario, when it is more a case of “Reservoir Dogs”.

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Christopher Foster October 19, 2011 at 10:03 am

Thanks for sharing, Don. I’m sure there are two sides to every story. By the way, I want to say quickly that my post was (is) principally about daring itself, the quality and capacity of daring that is invested in each one of us, and that is so essential to a truly creative and happy life.

But concerning your comments on Occupy Wall Street, I do think an ugly fact remains. And that is the fact that (from all I read) income disparity in this country and perhaps around the world is huge and is increasing.

You didn’t mention my reference in my post to the network of top income and wealth people in the US named ‘United for a Fair Economy’ that has been working hard for more than a decade to try to change this trend. But I wanted to share a note from my son Durwin in Vancouver in response to my post in which he said:

“There seems to be quite a bit of support for the Occupy movement from people in ‘high places.’ I read in the Toronto Globe and Mail that the governor of the Bank of Canada supports the movement, because he feels that proper regulation of the financial industry is well overdue, and he hopes to push for more of that at the next G20 summit.”

Personally, I am a great believer in balance. Balance is essential to the well-being of not only individuals but nations, and not only nations but Nature, and not only Nature but the universe itself. It seems to me this trend of increasing income inequality is an affront to this principle of balance upon which all true well-being relies.

Hey. I spent some time at your site. You’re doing some great work. Congratulations and every good wish.

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noch October 20, 2011 at 5:05 am

very relevant example – esp as Wall Street / banks was my former life. i used to think i was so important. but as i dared to step outside this world, i’m discovering a new world of happiness, one that is no longer based on superficial titles and paychecks. dare to dream. banker turn writer – in progress :)
noch recently posted..jet-setting in stiletto heels

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Christopher Foster October 21, 2011 at 1:02 pm

I’m so happy to hear from you again Noch. It took a lot of courage to step back from that earlier life and open yourself to the unknown, just as the previous commenter, Phil Malmstrom, was saying. I applaud your courage. And I know that as you continue to follow the impulse of your own spirit everything is going to work out to perfection: how can it be otherwise?

I was just spending some time at your blog and it’s beautiful, both the design and the content. I enjoyed your current post, “Jet setting in stiletto heels,” immensely. Trust your own unconquerable spirit Noch. There is a hand of grace on your life and on all our lives.

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Phil D. Malmstrom October 20, 2011 at 8:42 pm

Ah, the spirit of adventure personified Christopher… What a wonderful freedom that bike granted you to expand your “circle”. :-)

I’ll admit though, the Eudora Welty quote really peaked my interest most of all. True adventure begins from within; that innate connection in which we open ourselves to God and allow Him to direct our steps into the unknown. Stepping out in faith, as you did daring to journey off on your bike, is the biggest adventure of all.

Have a Blessed Day Christopher!
Phil D. Malmstrom recently posted..Thankful Thursday: All Eyes Are On You

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Christopher Foster October 21, 2011 at 12:48 pm

Thank you Phil. Your words always carry a balm. Yep, the bike definitely helped open a door to freedom in me. But as you say, true adventure always begins from within. Sometimes the nudge to take a step into the unknown can be very subtle, we have to really be still to hear it. Sometimes it hits us like a 2by4. But one thing’s for sure, we will never find our true potential unless we are willing to brave the unknown.

Blessings to you Phil.

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Mary November 3, 2011 at 3:52 pm

Great post, great topic, Christopher. The Eudora Welty quote made me think of Emily Dickinson. Now there was a person who dared, and wrote, and dared some more. All without essentially leaving her house. Yet her poetry speaks to anyone who listens.

As does your experience with your bike. Very nice.
Mary recently posted..New Tree Book and Field Guide for Panama

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Christopher Foster November 4, 2011 at 11:53 am

Right on Mary. It must have something to do wilth facing the unknown. The unknown in ourselves, particularly. Amazing, isn’t it, the impact Emily Dickinson has had and continues to have. Many thasnks for stopping by, hope you’ll visit again.

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