In one part of the world, there was this cave that led through a long series of tunnels and eventually to an underground city.
There was no electricity or fire, and all of the people currently living there went there whole lives without ever seeing light.
In fact, they evolved to having their eye lids merge to being a piece of skin that covered their entire eyes.
They were unable to open their eyes, even if they wanted to, because of the way they evolved.
They had no idea what eyes were anyway, nor what purpose they served.
Thus, they developed stronger kinesthetic, auditory and olfactory senses to make up for their lack of vision.
One day, a man got lost in the tunnels and accidentally walked out of the cave.
A group of tourists saw him struggling with his sense of direction and went over to help.
They noticed that this man had his eyes shut and decided to take him to the hospital.
At the hospital, they performed a surgery on this man’s eyes so that he can see again…and then he did.
It was a new awakening.
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His eyes were opened and he experienced things he never had before.
He saw people, their faces, their smiles, their bodies.
He saw beauty, nature, the sun and clouds.
He asked people about everything he was seeing and they gave him the definitions.
He was so overjoyed and excited to tell his family and the entire underground city.
So he left to go back to the cave…
And when he arrived, he was astonished to see everyone had their eyes shut.
He told them that he could see them, their faces, that their eyes were shut, and that eyes are the squishy things on both sides of their noses.
They were clueless and confused.
He told them all about the beauty and nature he saw, the people he met and their bright smiles.
They were still clueless and confused…and now they grew worried.
And that’s when all the people, including his family and friends, interrupted him in his excitement.
“Well, we don’t know what you’re talking about…and if you want to be part of us and live in our village, you’re going to have to get rid of these things you call eyes.” they said.
Here was a man who experienced a new dimension of life, a new appreciation for it, and a new sense that can bring evolution to the entire culture…and yet the culture does not accept it.
This story has played out many times throughout history, and continues to play out.
Nikola Tesla, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., the entire Gay Rights movement, the StartUp entrepreneurs that are focused on making greater positive impact in the world…all of these people saw a greater future and faced rejection from the culture.
Because the goal of a culture is to maintain conformity so that it can manage people to fit in in a certain way.
Even those cultures that focus on inspiring non-conformity, not fitting in, being different end up being a bunch of non-conformists who don’t want to fit into other cultures and be different together…all as a bunch of non-conformists conforming to be non-conformists.
This doesn’t make culture a wrong thing or a right thing, its just what it is…and we human beings need cultures for our survival.
In fact, we are the most co-dependent species on this planet and at our time now…majority of us are multi-cultural, which is not limited to ethnic backgrounds; We are a multi-cultural species in our fields of interest, the sports we play and watch, the activities we do, business, the events and festivals we attend, the music we listen to, the generation we’re a part of and more.
Every culture has its own language, style, belief systems, values, rules, and identity.
And its often those who have been pushed away, marginalized, and never fit into the culture that have the greatest possibility to upgrade the culture.
“First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, and then you win.” ~ Gandhi
They are not in the box.
They can see the blind spots of the culture.
They can see a greater evolution for where the culture can grow.
And they can lead the early adopters there.
This is how evolutionary technologies like the Internet, smart phones, and mobile apps went from just an idea to explosive growth, radically changing the world.
This is how the Founders of UBER were able to go from just an idea to only seven years later creating an evolved version of the taxi industry on-demand…being valued at over $65 BILLION!
And this isn’t limited to technology, there’s a wave of an emerging new consciousness that’s waking up the world.
In fact, I recorded an episode with Donny Epstein about it on The Soulfully Optimized Life podcast:
Here’s the key…
If you feel like you’re on the cusp on something extraordinary…
If you feel like you’ve seen something phenomenal that can wake up your family, friends, community, city, country, the world…
If you feel like you’ve heard a calling that can upgrade a culture in which you’re a part of…
You must accept that they may not jump forward with this “new way of thinking”.
You must accept that they may not agree with your “new way of living”.
And you must ultimately accept them for where they are right now.
The key to upgrading a culture isn’t to impose a radically new way of thinking that takes away all their certainty, stability and sense of identity immediately (although all growth and progress happens with instability; the greater the instability, the greater potential for growth).
If you want to upgrade a culture, the key is to inspire that change, and to do it within a few steps outside of the current culture.
Then, step-by-step people will move outside of their comfort zone to experience that which you want to share with them, and it is ultimately up to them to decide if they want to explore more.
This is how smoking cigarettes went from anywhere, anytime to being banned in all enclosed public places and work spaces.
And on a last note, for those who can relate to the awakening story we started with…it makes the journey so much easier when we can be patient and loving.
When we acknowledge and accept someone for who they are, without any desire to change them, and at the same time we can hold them to a greater standard for who they are at their soul…magic happens.
Now, I want to hear from you…
If you’ve discovered something extraordinary and had an awakening experience…how will you wake others up?