Well sort of, I can just barely see beyond the chicken and egg aspect of this. But I can see a little bit beyond.
The status quo is what we are. Whatever age we are, our life up until that point has been finding our place in the way things are. We’re an information system; we’re a computer system, that’s what our nervous system is, and it has hardware, it has firmware, it has software, and whoever you are at this instant in time you are that many years and seconds of your life in programming a way to be. Some of its now in hardware, that's pretty difficult to change. Some of it is in software that's integrated with that hardware; that's difficult to change. And a little piece of it is easy to change, not much of it is easy to change.
So any and every status quo, any threat to the status quo, confronts you or anyone, with the prospect of throwing out your way of being, your way of existing, your way of living, your way of having pleasure, your way of maybe finding joy; probably not joy, so rare in our lives in this society.
I only glimpsed this morning this piece of it - that status quo is a paradigm, or it's like a paradigm - the capacity of our mind to make sense of reality a certain way. Sometimes that’s shown to us with pictures – have you ever seen the one that is the old woman and the young woman; and when someone's first shown it, they’ll see either the old woman or the young woman; but over time, minutes, tens of minutes, particularly with coaching they can switch between views of the same picture without touching it, without moving it. It’s a capacity of the mind, it snaps things into place. It may not be the only snapping that's possible.
Well a fundamental change in the status quo such as, ‘of course women should have the right to vote,’ has that snapping aspect to it. It's not only what happens externally, it’s what happens within us. And when it happens that quickly, it's not painful, but the prospect of it to the nervous system is excruciating, such that all but one 1 million run from it, and even kill to prevent it.
So the status quo doesn't change until the status quo changes. 30 kids are getting on a bus to their expected death, the freedom rides to Mississippi, their nervous systems already snapped into the new status quo. They saw and were living that they became of a different status quo. ‘No, we don't sit in a separate waiting room.’ But their being it, their living it snapped ultimately millions of onlookers into the new status quo, and the status quo changed for millions almost instantly. Revolutionaries in Tahrir square provoked the same response within days. The status quo for the whole world switched in days from, ‘yes, Mubarak heads the country,’ to ‘No, Mubarak can't head the country anymore.’ The status quo doesn't change until the status quo changes.
And when the status quo changes there is an, ‘ahhhhh, thank goodness,’ among millions who instants before that paradigm being shifted for them, would kill to prevent it from shifting.
So there's something to those that cause that paradigm shift. They go right to the brink of death, by giving every thing they have, not almost everything, everything they have for life in the status quo to be replaced, possibly including their own lives, that it causes enough onlookers to vicariously go to the same place, the same threshold of willingness to give. And by standing at that threshold, without knowing it, there is the possibility of them getting instantaneously and painlessly and joyfully sucked through. It's a hacking past the defenses of conservatism; it's so breathtaking, the courage of those 30 freedom riders, the courage of those 200 women in prison for women’s suffrage, that it literally sucks the healthier of those onlookers breathlessly to the brink, to the vortex, and sometimes they get sucked through, instantaneously. ‘Oh, I see the young woman now; it isn't just the old woman, the mature woman in that picture.’
If the next 200 billion children will have a future other than hell on earth, a handful of people will go to that vortex themselves, and thereby create the conditions for that breathless, vicarious following, by much larger numbers, such that all could instantaneously, joyfully, gratefully and unwittingly get sucked through. Or it won't happen.