‘Art of Living’ is a beautiful organization. Founded by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, the aim is simple: bringing a smile on every person on the planet and to realize the vision of a “One World Family”.
What is it that attracts me to Art of Living as the single way into the future? Witnessing the world, I could only come to one conclusion on its functioning: scattered, unfocused and limited-vision entities attempting to make decisions for the rest of us, while poorly motivated actors failing to achieve the desired outcome beyond their own supposedly self-interests. I really see Art of Living as the key to the future because it dissolves all levels of barriers and aims to heal and empower the individual who is really at the root of it all. Art of Living provides an incredible platform for the individual to rest, heal, grow and re-discover the inner charm within. And, a group of happy, empowered individuals motivated to share and realize the grander goal of spreading joy and helping their community leads to some truly amazing things. Zoom out a little bit, and imagine what millions strong communities spanned across the globe can do?
Its quite simple really, in 35 years Art of Living has grown to be one of the largest volunteer-run NGO in the world. It connects cultures, religions, communities and countries in such an intimate way that my pessimism has turned around. Over 350 million people have benefited from Art of Living’s activities world-wide. Innumerable Art of Living volunteers engage in wonderful projects all around the world: re-building communities, resolving communal conflicts, disaster-relief etc and the world is an improving place as a result (Some of my following posts will go into detail on some of these projects). Inspired by one man, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, a platform has been created to allow for positive change to occur in monumental proportions globally and quickly. And, the crazy thing of it all, is that it is true.
The brilliance lies in the organizational structure of the foundation (arguably the world’s largest startup), the unique and almost miraculous effectiveness of the workshops, a simple and profound unifying philosophy that allows for people of all faith and backgrounds to connect and work together, a beautiful and grandiose vision for the World and behind it all: harnessed power of the individual.