The Tipping Point

first_imgby, David Goff, ChangingAging ContributorTweet8Share58Share1Email67 SharesA report from the Slow LaneI’ve been hearing about The Tipping Point for a long time. In all that time I have been interested.I want to know how, and when, everything is going to change. I have heard a lot of theories about the dynamics that will catalyze lasting alteration. These things run the gamut. In my estimation The Tipping Point has become, to we New Age types, equivalent to the Second Coming. I am of the opinion that the Tipping Point, if it is out there, or if it depends upon others, or something else, isn’t going to ever happen. Here is what I mean.I have heard so many theories about reaching critical mass. In groups, if only a certain number of people would wake up, waking would be easier, and more likely, for others. This is an appealing idea. It is like the idea of the one-hundredth monkey. If we could just wake-up enough of us, we could wake-up the rest of us. I certainly sympathize with this idea. I’m very invested in the idea of some kind of mass awakening, especially the awakening part.I want there to be some kind of Tipping Point, some way to believe that things will change, that systems will re-align for the better. I think I am an optimist, a glass half-full kind of guy. But, I am troubled. I like thinking that a Tipping Point is coming, but I’m having a hard time in the meantime. I can’t get over the thought that the Tipping Point might just be like the Tooth Fairy, a wish-fulfilling fantasy for hard times. I don’t like this thought much, I want to relegate it to the back of my mind, with the other anxious ideas that threaten my equilibrium. But, the possibility that The Tipping Point is not out there, haunts me.I have this notion, vague and only partially formed, that the Tipping Point really does exist, but it is like the Spirit of Christmas, not out there, in gifts, trees, lights, or a jolly fat man, but in here, in the way I am. I think that the Tipping Point is a reality, because I am it. I like this idea. I feel more empowered, more responsible certainly, like a carrier of good news. I am the Tipping Point. I am the change I want to see. I don’t have to wait for anyone, or anything else, the planets don’t have to align, I just have to show up.I have the power to change the world, not in any magic wand-waving way, but in some day-to-day showing up sort of way. Oh, that can’t be true, could it? Wait a minute, lets not get too carried away with our selves. There is a difference between Tipsy, as in drunk with your self, and the Tipping Point, when things become different.But, wait a minute again, if I really show up, if I really am myself, if I really embody wakefulness, doesn’t that change any scene I’m in? I think so. I have to really show up though, as myself, as the curious, uncertain, bi-pedal crackpot I am. Yes, that is unusual, the scene is tipped, maybe not dramatically or decisively, but more humanly. I have this strange feeling that the Tipping Point, isn’t just one point, but is the cumulative effect of a lot of little tipping points. I can’t help but feel that a lot of little moments call out to us… “be humanly true.” Then it seems that The Tipping Point is a reality, a moment when I can act. I believe in The Tipping Point, especially when I act like it is here, where I am.It all adds up. The more little local Tipping Points I participate in, the more the world changes. This requires me to pay attention, to show up, to tell the truth and to let go of my preferred outcome. If I can shift, in the moment, then it all shifts. The moment becomes the opposite of a terrorist suicide bombing. Instead of death and collateral damage to the fabric of social trust, we have life and collateral binding, a strengthening of the bonds that connect us.I don’t think the Tipping Point is out there, waiting for some appropriate sacred moment, I think it is in here, as available as I am. I would rather it wasn’t so dependent upon me, I am inconsistent, and so many moments escape me. But, the truth is, if I am truly responsible for the shift that is required to tip a situation, then I am more likely to pay attention, and look for the moments when I can make a difference.I was happy when I learned that elders were more likely to really be in possession of themselves. The thought that one can become oneself, that one can achieve freedom, turned me on. I was even happier when I realized that the most subversive thing a elders can do was be true to themselves wherever they are. All we have to do, to make a difference, to tip things, is be true to ourselves. Wow! The Tipping Point is dependent on me being myself!Can I just be myself? The jury is still out on that one, but I have to admit that it helps me be present when I know that the difference I want to make is the same as my struggle to be me. The Tipping Point is me becoming true to me in the moment. Paradoxically, such an achievement appears to be, the greatest gift I can give to you, and the rest of the world.The Tipping Point is my entrance into the world, it is the audacity of me being my broken, unknown, awkward, inarticulate self. This seems unbelievable to me, and I know that this disbelief is part of what I have to overcome if the tipping is going to occur. I have been waiting for the Tipping Point like it was something outside my influence, but for the New Year, I think I will fulfill the Mayan Prophecy. 2015 will be the year the world changes, because I will occupy myself.Related PostsThe Grandmother GeneBecause I was thinking a week or so ago about looking grandmotherish, it’s a good time to mention my theory of the grandmother gene. 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