What is a tipping point? In the past, whenever I have visualized this, it’s been the fulcrum point of a see-saw. You know, that point upon which balance is very uneasy. For if one person on the see-saw goes up, the other goes down. And if they weigh differently, it’s a no-brainer. Joe (180 pounds) so outweighs Sally (110 pounds). But if they are minimally different in weight, a whole new ball game.
It’s suddenly become clear to me that a tipping point is NOT a no-brainer.
In 1988, I attended Jean Houston’s Mystery School. And during that incredible year, I learned the phrase “100 monkeys”. This originated from a study in the Indonesian Islands (or maybe the Japanese Islands) of a group of monkeys, and what the scientists found was that, if at least 100 monkeys on a particular island picked up the habit of an act (washing their food, for example), then all of a sudden, monkeys on neighboring islands would also start washing their food. No physical connection at all, just some kind of juice in the ozone.
For me now, that’s what a tipping point really is. It’s the knowing/belief of a group of individuals — people, earthworms, monkeys — that inserts a dynamic into the no-osphere (if you want a definition of that, go to: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noosphere — one of many sites) and from that, all kinds of things are possible.
I belong to an intentional community named Mystics In Training. We meet three times each year in different parts of the US, and our next meeting will be about politics, as values, voices and visions. Interesting. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to be with them physically in August — but I’ll be with them in spirit. And I wonder if they can include this idea of a tipping point as part of that discussion. Frankly, I think, if they do, it will be a lot richer for that.
If anyone reading this has thought about a tipping point, please share your ideas with all of us. It’s a bit tricky to think about. Thanks.