Practicing courage in the search for a new world

Practicing courage in the search for a new world

07 July 2019 161 views

by Johannes Kronenberg

International Students' Conference 2019

On Friday the 15th of March 2019, an estimated number of 1.8 million young people did not go to school. Instead they filled the streets around our globe for an attempt to formulate what they feel, observe and want to transform: a world in existential need for renewal. It is the first time in history that this amount of young people occupied public space. They raised their voices to the ‘older’ generations, to act upon what is called climate change more drastically. However, a lot of them sense quite well that there is more going on and that climate channge might be the top of the iceberg of something profoundly transformative about to happen.

Just about a month after this event 650 high school students from over 30 countries did not go to school either. They exchanged their known homes for an unknown travel to Dornach, Switzerland, in order to witness and practice questions of Courage. Some of them were the first in their family to leave the country, others might have known that they would get homesick, and some of them put aside their savings for two year in order to come. “Courage” was calling them and they listened carefully.

It must be said that these students embody the work of 100 years of Waldorf education. A movement that provides students with the chance to ‘act from their hearts’ (cour-age; Latin roots), in a world organised less and less for the actual human being itself. An over organised world where nature became something separated. A world where education does not equip its students for what is coming, but rather likes to teach the past. Where is the future (coming from)? Might be a guiding star question of these young individuals.

However, each single student attending was equipped with something not so obvious; in the fundaments of the Waldorf movement health and balance for the physical body, intimacy in the soul life and clarity of the spirit are nourished and practiced as core values in the space created for primary and high school education. It brings forward the ability to transform questions about Fear into its counterforce of Courage, as proven and practiced by the young organising team of this gathering. They worked and lived for one and a half year with these questions to prepare the conference. It was not a Fridays for Future event as such (like the one of 15 March), but a ‘Courage’ for Future impuls; an inspiration for the young generation to act from their hearts.

But what does it mean to courageously act from the heart and how can this make us sensitive for what wants to come from the future? This was key in the talk of Helmy Abouleish; not predicting the future from past experiences (futurum), but rather leaning in the seemingly impossible coming from the future (adventus); ideals and visions that seem ridiculous now, might carry the spirit of what want to come to birth. By this, the Courage conference became a microcosmic space of encounter, carrying powerful seeds for the worldwide movement of the young generation that seem to practice the courage to transform our society from its fundaments anew.

Johannes Kronenberg