I’m not making light of the world’s problems. Goodness knows, there are far too many and they are far too serious to brush off, ignore or otherwise discount. But something occurred to me the other night while I was swing dancing.
Maybe some of the world leaders would more readily find their willingness to actually WORK on the Big Problems if they did a bit less posturing and a bit more swing stepping.
C’mon. Just think about it. Count those steps, members of Congress. Twirl your partner, Mr. President. And look there! Is that Vladimir Putin with a…gasp…smile?
Okay, maybe that would be too much to expect. But seriously. A night of cooperative movement would not be a bad idea at all. Cooperative movement. Oh, yeah. The world could use some of that. Especially Congress.
I have learned swing dancing at a small local community center. And by learned, I mean that I know exactly one basic step and can take that to the next level…oohhh…by going out for a spin and getting back successfully and still in step. Mmmm, baby. Dancing With the Stars will be calling me soon.
Now the neato wonderful thing about that is…it’s enough. It’s good. Nobody is judging. They are far too busy watching out for their own feet or trying not to spin their partner into the adjacent couple or smoothly gliding about in a way that makes some of us (me!) watch in joyful appreciation. Everybody is busy having their own fun.
So that’s one fine part of swing dancing. But wait, there’s more. We aren’t all alike. It’s a splendid amalgamation (what a great word…I just said it three times) of ages and stages. All having a great time. In the same location. With each other.
I mean, really. Why is this not being used by the United Nations as a method of introducing peaceful moments into an anxious world?
At the last swing dance evening there was an elderly gentleman partnering a young girl. A teenager, I am guessing. Related to him? Probably. He was showing her some extra dance moves and she was laughing and they were having a fantastic time. There was a group of young people…hard to say, late teens or maybe very early 20s. One young man and several young women and while he was usually partnered with his own special lady he also danced with the others or they danced together. Yes. Girls dancing together. And nobody gasped and denounced the action or thought it was about anything more than dancing. Because truly? If there were something more going on it wouldn’t be happening on the dance floor and it wouldn’t be anybody’s business.
There were some older couples whose love for each other was precious to observe. There were some very young couples who added a variety of moves into their dances and looked adorable doing so. What did we all have in common?
Not our politics. Not our ages. Not our footwear. Not our suaveness on the dance floor.
What we had in common was positive energy. We were engaged in positive energy and, for that evening, we were united by it.
Now tell me the world leaders couldn’t use a little help in that area.
I know. Yes, I do know that inviting Mr. Putin and Kim Jong-Un and Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and Stephen Harper and Robert Mugabe and President Obama and (okay, I’ll stop) whoever else to a night of fun and swing dancing isn’t going to produce anything other than background checks and men in dark suits tracking you down. I know that our Congress is as likely to gather for a night of non-partisan dancing as they are to settle the immigration issue before their summer break. Though think about it. Wouldn’t it be great to see them spinning something other than a story or an explanation?
So the logical part of me knows very well that this won’t happen. But the other part of me, the outside of the box thinker, believes that it is exactly what we NEED to have happen. It’s all about ego energy right now, around the world and certainly in the hallowed houses of our nation’s leaders.
And ego energy is exactly the opposite of cooperative energy. Swing dancing is all about cooperative energy. You can’t do it alone. All by yourself you become a spinning top with nobody to catch you.
You can’t actually lead a country, represent a state or live in harmony with the world alone, either. You might succeed for awhile but eventually you will need that partner. You will need that cooperation.
Maybe, maybe, maybe if we realized that laughter and joy and lack of judgment will make us better able to tackle the more serious stuff, we could nudge this world’s energy into a better place. Maybe if our leaders reached out to each other they wouldn’t always insist on doing the dance alone. Maybe if we respected who we are as individuals we could get to the place where we respected who we are collectively and we would realize that the collective whole is made up of all those individuals. The older ones. The younger ones. The smooth movers. The beginners counting their steps.
The conservative ones. The liberal ones. The male ones. The female ones. The white, black, olive, cream and green ones. (a shout out to any Martians hanging around)
It’s a silly thing, right, to think that something as basic as swing dancing might make a difference. To think that great change can be created from small steps. To look at a room marked by diversity and imagine it on a global level.
It’s a silly thing.