Process, Goal, Method, Motivation, Context… quite often I get bored when simple semantics fail to describe the phenomena that drive our world. While we are easily distracted by monocausal comfort, the more intriguing drivers of history hide in plain sight.  We start a good story by reaching out to others: Come on board. Be with us! We believe that people should reach their full potential. Let’s call this intrinsic belief the Montessori Light Cones, based on Einstein’s picture of a single sparkle of light, an event of spacetime, emanating in all directions. The earlier the cones arrive in a person‘s lifetime, the greater any future potentials render.

And then there are, in dialectical juxtaposition, the limitations: The obstacles that were never overcome. The family problems and conundrums that got never resolved. The cultural traditions that put souls in chains or the material and political restrictions that keep people from choice. Perhaps this is the reason why I like to keep a picture of Ganesha, the remover of obstacles, next to my desk. Let’s call this cultural-material antithesis the Hegelian Event Horizon, splitting our light. Some light escapes while some gets lost forever in the Black Hole of unfulfilled dreams. The Hegelian Event Horizon constitutes in his dialectical nature the interface between the reality of human potential and the suppressed history that never happened: The tree that never grew. The bird that never flew. The flower that never blossomed. The love that was never given.

Lesser blessed socializations are born on the shores of authoritarianism, indifference, resentment, or loveless negligence. Due to the openness of human nature, we neither live in the best nor the worst of worlds. We live in a world that was given direction by some – and opposing turns by others. The world concludes as a result of our negotiations and battles, our communities‘ spirit and contributions. Our world is the outcome of competing interpretations of reality. This is how we live questions, not answers, who may (or may not) reveal themselves to us. Openness: The ability to hold contradicting beliefs, the skill to defer judgment, and to understand diverging interpretations along a large spectrum of perspectives and worldviews, appears to constitute the prerequisite to inviting others as autobiographical human beings. Within a divergent state of mind, we can enter authentic relationships without prejudice. But how do we feel stepping into the unknown of a new tangible quality of social relations at the dawn of the 21st century? How can we deal as connected human beings with this broken world?

Skating along the Hegelian Event Horizon, a pessimistic view always allows for a more realistic picture of the world (lots of psychological evidence to this account), but unfortunately a diminished encouragement for action.  An optimistic view easily overlooks the pitfalls of the world’s underlying negotiation but is empowered by Montessori’s Light Cones: The one who hopes is ahead of the facts. This is how, in closing, I prefer to be a pessimistic optimist on a brighter day and an optimistic pessimist on a darker day, reaching out and standing up for the other. Just how every good story starts.




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