October 2, 2018
In this week’s Juice I share another amazing story from my time at Burning Man that gave me hope that anything that I think is impossible to achieve just might be achievable after all! If you need some hope for something you feel is impossible, you have to listen in.
The Premise of Burning Man
On the Saturday night at Burning Man, they burn a massive wooden effigy of a man that sits on a platform in the middle of the Playa. The whole idea is that you come to Burning Man to decide to let something go- a grievance, grief, or something that has been bothering you. By burning the effigy, you burn it all and decide to let it go. It is a very cathartic ceremony. On that Saturday night, 70,000 people descend on the Playa to watch the man burn. It is very chaotic and noisy, with music playing and people dancing, and goes on until about 9 am the next day.
That Saturday night feels very similar to being at a music festival and you know when you’ve been to any festival, the next day the grounds are littered with garbage. Empty beer bottles, gooey spills, cigarette butts- garbage everywhere. When I took my bike out the next morning onto the Playa, I was astounded to find that there was not one piece of garbage anywhere- not one beer cup, not one bottle, not even a piece of string. I really mean not one piece of garbage anywhere.
I found that astonishing! If you had told me that prior to going to Burning Man, I would not have believed it.
Burning Man has a very strong culture and a very strong principle that you do not leave things behind. They call it MOOP- Material Out Of Place. It is your responsibility to pick up your MOOP and if someone leaves something behind by accident and you see it, it is your responsibility to pick up MOOP for others. It is the entire community of Burning Man’s responsibility to ensure that not one tiny speck is left in the Nevada desert.
It Really Made Me Think
When a community really strongly upholds a value and a principle, it really is possible to make the impossible- possible! It gave me such hope that for things in my life that I think may be an impossibility; if you can bring together a committed number of people who uphold a value in their lives, we can make the impossible possible. What an inspiring moment!
Stay in Touch!