Do you believe?
A weekly round-up.
Welcome to Awedacious Ideas, a summary of what we’re reading, listening to and contemplating as we build a case for awe in the change-making space.
This week’s recap
We’ve been unable and unwilling to move on from the atrocities happening in Gaza, Congo, the Horn of Africa and Ukraine.
These have guided us to ask ourselves and others about the role of awe in navigating polarizing complexities and trauma.
We explored the difference between hope and belief with anthropology professor, Agustín Fuentes. Missed it? Catch the episode of our new podcast ‘The Awe Effect’ here or wherever you listen to podcasts.
To believe is to be human
It feels too important not to share again.
In ‘Why We Believe, Evolution and the Human Way of Being,’ Fuentes shares that our human capacity for belief is the most significant trait that sets us apart from other animals.
Our conversation with Fuentes also led us to explore the concept of ‘Imagined Communtities’ - especially at this time when global tectonic plates are shifting.
The concept of imagined communities refers to groups of people we feel connected to, even though we don't interact with them directly. In our daily lives, we engage with communities like our neighborhood, workplace, school, or religious group in concrete ways. But there are also communities we are part of through our imagination, not direct experience. Involvement in tangible relationships and practices is one way we belong to a community, but imagination is another important source of community. Imagined ties can extend across space and time. Sociologist Benedict Anderson, who first coined the term, argues that nations are imagined communities. Even though members will never meet most of their fellow citizens, they share a mental image of their connection. So by imagining bonds with compatriots near and far, present and future, we feel a sense of national community.
This can be dangerous territory.
But Anderson’s concept also extends to imagined communities believing in humanity and love beyond borders.
Sharing in Singapore
Grateful to have been invited to speak about our mission, sharing the stage with the Minister of Sustainability and the Environment for Singapore and the Earthshot Prize at the Conscious Festival in Singapore.
A small but mighty thought
We live in capitalism. Its power seems inescapable. So did the divine right of kings. Any human power can be resisted and changed by human beings. Resistance and change often begin in art, and very often in our art, the art of words.
― Ursula K. Le Guin