As children we are scooped up and placed in the yabby container. Here we are fed certainty. The certainty of grades and careers. The certainty of protection and growth. The certainty of restrictions and limitations.
The result is that most people can’t tolerate those who attempt to step out. We preach the merits of cutting down the tallest poppies with statements like, be modest, when what we really mean is, be mediocre.
The result is that when we start gaining traction with whatever it is we’re building, even a handful of those closest to us will try and sabotage things. It’s not that they necessarily want us to fail, they would just prefer things didn’t change. Like yabbies in an ice-cream container, the tendency is for none to escape as each time one gets close, the group pulls them back into the pit.
The yabby container teaches us to strong-arm each other, despite both parties losing. It teaches us to master confinement, despite the emptiness we feel when we are the biggest fish in a small pond. It teaches us to rectify decaying relationships, despite making it clear that we are the average of the 5 closest people in our lives.
What it fails to teach us about is the wild river from which we came. A place that purifies and replenishes itself naturally. A place where we are free to ride the current effortlessly. A place where we can grow 10 times the size.
Galileo Galilei’s story is testament to life in the yabby container.
Galileo hypothesised that the earth orbited the sun (heliocentricism). Up until then it was believed that the sun orbited the earth (geocentricism). Galileo was placed in front of the Roman Acquisition and ordered to abstain from teaching and defending his theory.
Many years later the Pope authorised Galileo to put forward his arguments for and against heliocentricism in the book, Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems. He was warned not to advocate heliocentricism.
Controversy surmounted when Galileo prefaced the book with the story of Simplicio, a 500BC Aristolian philosopher who favoured geocentrism and was commonly known as a fool, hence the translation of Simplicio to Simpleton in Italian. Galileo argued that the character was solely a reference to the philosopher but the Pope did not take the supposed insult lightly.
Galileo was formally charged with heresy and placed under house arrest for the rest of his life. According to legend, his response to the verdict was, “And yet it moves”. No doubt the echo could be heard bouncing off every wall of the container.