The wonders that humans are capable of

The human potential is simply remarkable. When human go against each other they can create things like war. They can create the terrible circumstances that were the subjects of a few posts last week. But when humans work together, they can create wonders.

At the Macdonald Campus, we created something of a small wonder this semester. It was quite magical. It was a flash mob.

Flash mob at the Mac campus. Photo credit: Sushant K Jha

The idea was to promote our club, Happy Feet, which is a dance related club (I am yet to write about it here). The occasion was a ‘club barbecue’ at the campus, where different clubs would set up tables and attract new incoming students. We did not want to sit at tables. So we thought, what better way to show off our club, than to dance! I admit, it was a small event. Yet, it was a small idea that was executed by so many different people coming together.

Our choreographers selected the music, organized it, choreographed it—each taking up a portion of the selection that best suited their abilities. The participants willingly showed up to rehearse; unbound by inhibitions they danced and exhausted themselves till they knew the routine well. Together we advertised to recruit participants, reached out to the McGill media, coordinated with the authorities, worked out all the trivial details. We worked incessantly for publicity, with the McGill newspapers, worked with the DJ, the campus authorities. We got some of our friends to photograph the final event. One of them spent hours editing the video. We had participants ranging from U0 to mature graduate students. People from Colombia,Venezuela, Ukraine, India, Indonesia, Syria, Canada, all danced together. If you thought that something that depended on so many different factors would never work, it did! And how! It was like life arising from an assortment of chemicals. Our flash mob was the delight ‘creation’ itself.

When we talked about our plans initially, people were often surprised that we were daring to do it, but none ever discouraged us. The best part: even though it was a creative process, there was never an ego hurt. Some terrific dancers willingly learned the routine from their less-able instructors. Many of the participants actually danced for the first time in their lives! And everyone worked without any sense of expectation or return. People could well have asked “what is in it for me?” But none ever did. In fact, people made time from their schedules to come together and create.

The end result is for everyone to see. Visually, it is just an assortment of students dancing. But at another level, it is the coming together of human agency to create something beautiful, simply for the joy of creation. I thank you all once again. And I salute the human agency, for the mountains it can move collectively.

The video is also featured on McGill’s official channel. We organize free dance lessons each week at the Mac campus. Our Facebook page is here.  No fees, no partners or prior training are required. We absolutely welcome non-dancers. This is a great way to meet new people and to learn about new cultures. A separate post on Happy Feet soon.

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