The Pyramids and the power of purpose

The pyramids of Egypt are amongst the largest constructions ever built. They represent one of the most potent and enduring symbols of Ancient Egyptian civilisation. Imagine a pharaoh, waking up one morning in his tent and calling for his key ministers to attend him. Together they are seated on a massive Persian rug. He clicks his fingers for a warm cup of cinnamon-flavoured wine and then tells the still-sleep-stupefied emirs that he has something significant to share with them: “I had a dream last night,” at which point they all wince. “I dreamt of a mighty construction in the desert that would endure for all time and speak to the magnificence of my divine time on this earth. It will hold the worldly remains of myself and, in time, my children. It is to have a pointy bit at the top, stand 1000 parsecs high and have a square base. Any objections?” You can guess that when the idea was first touted, the ministers wanted to know what drugs he’d been on, or whether the figs were fermenting prematurely. Some might have loved the idea, but many would have said “Too expensive”, “How will we do it?”, “The stone you ask us to use is 2000 miles away” and so on. But the pyramids were built and we know now that it was not with slave labour as we first thought. So what did the pharaoh do to win support for such a crazy idea? Undoubtedly he would have shared the purpose, the vision of the pyramid, let others catch it, believed fundamentally it could be done and ensured the dream was resourced. In the process, others became enamoured of the idea – great architects and builders who were finally tasked with taking the dream and turning it into a reality.


The Pyramids and the power of purpose is a verbatim excerpt from Fabian Dattner’s One World AtLast, pp. 52-53


Image courtesy of Arvind Balaraman / www.freedigitalphotos.net


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