We watch things happen, rather than make it happen

I planned an Indian classical music workshop in SF for tomorrow, where people could learn and play the music guided by world class musicians, but I had to cancel. I’m sad about it.

The idea came out of a spontaneous chat about Flow between me, my tabla teacher Nilan Chaudhuri and my roommate Siona. Flow is “an optimal state of intrinsic motivation, where the person is fully immersed in what he is doing.” -M. Csikszentmihalyi

We had Nilan’s tabla rhythms flowing between us. It was my first tabla lesson.

Instead of having Flow where a person is immersed in doing, in arts & culture people have gotten passive. They watch rather than participate. I wanted a musical event where people to interact in person, and understand other perspectives — like that of an artist from India now living in SF.

But tonight, as we asked people to confirm, some said they preferred to simply watch a concert.

We watch things happen to us, rather than make it happen.

That is what the election highlights, too. No matter one’s politics, whether progressive liberals or hardened republicans, we have become a passive audience. We complain and debate about that someone (else) who will make the change happen.

Can we take some responsibility? What would it look like for us to “be the change”?

Revolution does not have to be about anger or shaming. In fact, that has no effect. We’d get what we have now. But a revolution does need to have impact.

“We’re going to need a lot of smart, caring voices about the country — voices of healing and hope.” -Dan Rather

I like the idea of a revolution made of voices of healing and hope… smart, caring voices.

Plenty of us are smart. What is it to be caring?

How can we be the change, and make what we want to see happen?

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