Thursday, October 6, 2011

About a Ball

Everything seems to be used as a metaphor nowadays. At the very least, a lot of people try to create profundity out of the most mundane (cf. Nephew Tommy's "That's Not Deep...That's Stupid").  Then again, there may be some truth to said attempts.  For yours truly, it came in the form of a beach ball at Thrivals 4.0 two weeks ago.

At the beginning of the conference, everyone was handed beach balls to inflate.  Within minutes, myriads of beach balls made their way through the audience onto the stage-except for mine. It seemed as if my lung capacity was non existent. Despondency set in a little bit within a short period of time. At the same time, there was a dogged determination to inflate that beach ball. Throuhout the sessions, I snuck in blows to get that ball to blow up.  Luckily, I was seated towards the back.

Then came intermission.

Like a miracle, my blows into the ball gained headway. Gradually, the mass of plastic took the shape of an actual air-filled ball worthy of using at the beach.  As to how my tries at blowing up the ball had more success in the middle of the day in comparison to the beginning is beyond me.  However, once achieved, a feeling of accomplishment blended in with the already present feeling of inspiration from the conference speakers.

And herein lies the profundity-and irony. A recurrent theme throughout the conference was perseverance, no matter what the odds, especially for work that will change the world for good.  In an odd way, the attempts to blow up the beach ball paralleled the stories of children in impoverished areas of India learning English in order to learn how to use the computers in Dr. Sugata Mitra's "Hole in the Wall" Project and Al Letson's journey from dyslexia to performing spoken word and writing plays-subjects of some of the sessions at Thrivals.

The moral of this tale? Keep on going for the good, come what may. Patience and persevearance is key. It's not about WHEN you get to your goal (and/or calling), its THAT you get to your goal (and/or calling). Most importantly, like Janelle Monae pointedly said at Thrivals 4.0, "Don't be afraid to fail".  Now to put it into practice.