From Africa with Love

By Javier Munoz
Posted on: April 18, 2010
1 comment so far

Imagine ZambiaActions travel in time and space well after you have executed them. The well-known concept of the butterfly effect explains this phenomenon. Another metaphor for the travel of an action is the undulating wave that spreads outwardly when you throw a pebble in a pond. However, this week I had an experience that made me realize how your state of being can also travel far to inspire many.

Earlier this week Just Action friend, Steven Putter, founder of Imagine Zambia woke up to realize two of his laptops and two backup hard-drives were stolen. For anyone whose work depends largely on the Internet as a channel of communication, this could be a considerable setback. Steven’s take was that he would have to start all over again in many aspects, but now he would have a second chance to improve! He only hoped that the stolen equipment helped feed a hungry family… Steven went on to borrow a laptop to continue with his amazing work in Zambia without missing a bit.

I was inspired by Steve’s calm state of being through this ordeal as he expressed the perfection of every event in a way that placed greater importance on the opportunity it presented than on the liabilities. I just did not know how much I would relate to this lesson later that week. Yesterday, my wife’s computer was attacked by a rogue malaware virus even though we have fully updated anti-virus software. This is the second time this happens in recent memory and in both cases we have lost valuable photos and videos. When this happened in the past, I have been quite disgruntled by the loss of our irreplacebable memories, and the lost time. However, in this occasion I caught myself taking this situation in stride. What changed?

I assumed this new situation without complaining as I recognized that it would just be a waste of time to go that route. I started to fix the problem right away remaining aware of all the other blessings in my life. Then, I told my wife that this problem was nothing compared to what Steve had to overcome this week and noticed how his positive approach inspired us as well. Of course, these are minor problems that have little concecuences, but that is not the point. The point is that Steve’s composed state of being and his positive assessment of a significant set back traveled through time and space from Zambia to Spain to help us make a similar assessment.

Your state of being travels farther in time and space when it is coherent. When you are coherent, you are able to create the greatest value with the least amount of energy, approaching your higher state of being.

When facing any setback what is your approach?

Are you watching where you place your attention? Are you focused on feeling sorry for yourself? or are you taking action with no delays? It is indeed difficult to keep frustruation at bay. It is only human to express your feelings, but would you let your feelings cloud your ability to respond productively? Your feelings color the canvas you paint on, but it pays to remain in control of your brush strokes. As you become aware of how your state of being travels touching the lifes of many, you also learn to discern what feelings feed your will to prevail and what feelings represent additional resistance.

Some of you today may reflect upon this post and have it on your top of mind as you overcome your own problems. As you take positive action, you must realize that it was Steve’s original inspiring voice from Africa with Love that has traveled to touch your life too. Where will the fresh air from the butterfly’s wings go now?

Imagine Zambia is an organization that works to foster sustainable development in Zambia to eradicate malnutrition in sub-Saharan Africa. It pursues eco-friendly development within rural communities using the natural resources available in innovative ways to diversify revenue sources. It teach communities to develop a spirit of oneness where the individual creates a better future for the family, the family a better future for the community, the community a better future for the country.

One Response to “From Africa with Love”

  1. Joe Wilkinson Says:

    This idea of focusing our attention in the direction of the outcome, even amidst a seemingly negative turn of events, has shown itself in a myriad of ways in my surroundings recently. I find it’s during those times that we are tested to ‘walk our talk,’ and BE the Change we wish to see, yes?
    A simple exercise I was reMINDed of was to, in the light of any circumstance, but particularly in the face of disruption, ask yourself, “What can I be Happy about Right Now?!?!” As I said, it’s very Simple, and Very Empowering, triggering a shift in perspective that reactivates the Creative, and disengages ‘The Reactionary.’
    Your specific examples energized this general principle for me: Look where you’re going, choose intentionally, act accordingly. Thank You.

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