“Possibilities connect people;
Fear separates them.
Always ask questions.”
An Aphorism is a short and precise statement of an essential principle or truth. The aphorism on the Power Adapter 2.0 consists of two statements. The first statement, in two parts, is an observation (possibilities connect people; fear separates them). The second statement is an injunction (call to action): always ask questions. This is similar to the existing aphorism on the back of the Launch Box. For comparison, consider that the MFLB aphorism is in three parts. The first sentence of the MFLB aphorism is essentially a definition (love is that which enables choice), the second one is a theorem (love is always stronger than fear), and the last one in an injunction (always choose on the basis of love). Together, the aphorism on the PA and the one on the MFLB represent entry points to a comprehensive system of life enhancing philosophy.
The first part of the PA aphorism makes an observation about what brings people together. People are brought together by a perception of possibility. This works particularly well when that possibility is something that people can actually partake of, see, and connect to, something that they can really benefit by. Even without personal benefit, (for example, for possibilities which go beyond the personal) people will often want to be involved for altruistic reasons. It is natural for people to want to connect with something that is genuinely larger than themselves, something meaningful, beautiful, and ideal. If you want to bring people together, then you will want to create possibility. To do this, you need to create a vision of the future which is inclusive, which has the capacity to move forward and further common aims and dreams. You will want to create a sense of expansiveness. To even have hope for the future is to acknowledge possibility. To the degree that the future is seen as open, we are all free to create something beneficial.
As such, the first part of the aphorism is about these observations. It partially answers the question of ‘what is the “glue” that holds communities together?’. Also, just to reinforce the basic idea, there is also considered the question of ‘what is corrosive to that glue?’. For example, if you have fostered an environment where there’s a lot of judgement, fear, and reaction, where people do not see possibility because of what they think might happen, there is going to be created a feeling of isolation, of loneliness, of groups divided, of possibilities, hopes, and dreams lost. If you see someone fostering an environment of fear, you know that they will, either intentionally or accidentally, split the community, to everyone’s detriment. The PA aphorism is therefore actually a rather deep observation about the essence of community and the fundamental things necessary to create any sort of community at all.
Having identified that possibility is a fundamental ingredient necessary to create community, the next natural question is: “what is it that creates possibility?”. Asking questions creates possibilities. It creates an opening for an answer. It creates an opening for other questions that lead to genuin understanding. It allows us to undo assumptions, and to essentially have the assumptions be cleared so that there is room for the truth to come out. In any case, it is best to lead with a question. It is best to lead by first seeking to understand the here and now, to be truly and authentically present, before charging off into the future. There’s a book called The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. One of the habits described in the book is to “seek first to understand, then to be understood”. That particular idea, “seek first to understand”, is actually a reflection of a much deeper principle. Its connected to the essence of creating possibility, of creating openness, and creating conversation. By creating conversation and producing the opportunity for there to be new possibilities discovered, and new answers found, then that becomes the methodology by which a higher quality of conscious community can be created.
When we say “always ask questions”, we are promoting a process that encourages people to engage in those actions that create possibility, and thereby, to create community. By asking good questions, you can truly shift and improve the course of civilization. This practice is the fundamental glue that holds society together. It is up to us whether or not we choose to increase or decrease this connective glue in our communities and in our daily lives. This opportunity has been given to all of us.