She Stands

I had a dream three weeks ago that I’ve been thinking about ever since. 10 years ago I read a book called, “Atlas Shrugged”, by the objectivist and libertarian think tank Ayn Rand. My dream was a conversation in which a question was posed. The question was the hallmark quote from the book. “If you saw Atlas, the giant who holds the world on his shoulders, if you saw that he stood, blood running down his chest, his knees buckling, his arms trembling but still trying to hold the world aloft with the last of his strength, and the greater his effort the heavier the world bore down upon his shoulders - What would you tell him? What…could he do? What would you tell him? --- To shrug.” 10 years ago when I read that book I was thrust in a new direction of thought & perspective - empowered through self interest, responsibility, individuality, and a heightened sense of egotism. Through my college years I gladly played the role in every discussion that defended personal responsibility, self interest, and the grandeur of entrepreneurialism…. But all along the way like the ants at a picnic I met skepticism and resistance. The conviction at which many hold Rand’s ideology has never been an objective foundation at which I have felt stable upon, and over the years of many of my life’s compounding experiences, I’ve watched that foundation chip away. Nothing has been more shaking to Rand’s philosophy and protagonist caricature’s then my learning of ecology and my growing dependency on a healthy relationship with nature and its community. I believe this dream came to me after what has been months of a schizophrenic FB News Feed, a vile overflowing of division, a swamping amount of information too thick to comprehend. At a moment when the state of affairs seem too complex for any person, cabinet, or party to fix, and the stress of the problems we face is both crippling, uniting and dividing. My dream reminded me of nature’s simple solutions to all problems. One that has sustained, maintained and given life for the eons. This dream gave me enough pause in this pandemonium to reflect on how I move forward through this chatter and has directed me how I am to contribute to it. In my dream, the question in Atlas Shrugged was posed,“……what would you tell Atlas?”  and a character not of Ayn Rand’s creation responded, “the world, she stands on her own two feet.”