Unleashing and harnessing energy

by Simon Goland, March 2, 2010

Today’s Reflection is about the Vancouver Olympics 2010. In a way.

I felt like a real Canadian on Sunday. I was prepared, with food of all kinds, and beer for lunch, and almost all that was needed to watch what apparently about 80% of ALL Canadians watched. The final hockey game between Canada and US. Except I did not paint my face in the colours of the Canadian flag. One has to draw the line somewhere. But otherwise, I was ready, and really enjoyed the game, and cheered, and had fun.

And then, when Canada won, Tobi and I decided to go and visit the downtown Vancouver and be with the masses and experience the celebrations of winning a gold medal in hockey at the Vancouver Olympics 2010.

“When you find out who you are, crank up the volume.” – Anonymous

Now, “celebrations” is really too small of a word to describe what was happening downtown. The high-rises were barely visible through the sea of red and white, flowing through the streets like giant tsunami waves of ecstatic fans. Screaming, shouting, cheering, high-fiving anyone and everyone, police included, waving Canadian flags of all sizes, drinking beer on the streets, honking, and being incredibly friendly towards complete strangers. The energy was palpable, tangible, wild, and contagious, and I too was swept in it while walking the streets and observing people. In all my almost 14 years in Vancouver, I don’t remember seeing and feeling anything even remotely close to it.

It felt as though world peace has been declared, and we all miraculously became brothers and sisters, forever more. Only we did not. The fire burnt itself out, and Monday was a completely different day in Vancouver.

“Someday after we have mastered the winds, the waves, and gravity, we will harness for God the energies of love; and then for the second time in the history of the world, human beings will have discovered fire.” – Teilhard de Chardin
I keep thinking about the energy I experienced, and about what can be done with it, if it is harnessed to a purpose beyond celebration of winning a hockey game. Such energy is passionate, collaborative, and creative. We all have it. It was evident watching people on the streets. Unleashing it, together, and harnessing it towards making a lasting and tangible difference, can be transformational. The remaining question is “how?”

A sunny week to you all, inside and out.