Connecting local responses around the world
As I reflect on the last week at the Global Learning Festival at Chennai, images, thoughts and feelings crowd in.
The overwhelming feeling left with me is that it was extraordinary how people felt so full of hope, joy and solidarity. People from across continents, speaking totally different languages could bond together, and feel such a sense of harmony and connectedness. I too felt so connected with myself and with others
What was the magic? What happened in those 5 days that forged these diverse set of people into a community of sorts? What was it that melted down barriers and forged a deep bond?Was it shared dreams, hopes and concerns?.one story triggered another and another and so on... an endless stream of inspiration. Looking back at the previous times at these learning festivals: at Chiang Mai, at Koppal, Kumta and now at Chennai: I have always been left with that sense of exhilaration.
It was not then an accident; not a chance happening. It was the process of looking for and finding the hidden potential, the achievements of people and communities. What left us excited and charged was the discovery of evidence, evidence that affirmed one's belief in community strengths. In the past week, we had discovered that communities could bring electricity to dark neighbourhoods; build temples; strengthen the bonds between parents and children; reduce access to harmful use of alcohol; snip the barriers between people; do away with stigma and discrimination; help individuals and whole communities to value themselves and make people care, just to mention a few actions. Dreams fulfilled, goals reached, however impossible, because people recognised their own potential. They resonated with us and we reached out to each other.
As Jean Louis said, the epidemic of positive experience was spreading faster and faster..,,,in geometric progression!