Tango is not only a fascinating dance, but also a fascinating philosophy, culture, and lifestyle. The pursuit of tango is the pursuit of connection, love, unity, beauty, harmony and humanity, i.e., an idealism that is not consistent with the dehumanizing reality of the modern world. The world divides us as individuals, but tango unites us as a people and species. In tango we are not individualists, feminists, nationalists, liberals, conservatives, Democrats, Republicans, etc., but interconnected and interdependent members of the human family. Tango calls us to tear down the walls, to build bridges, and to regain humanity through connection, cooperation, reconciliation and compromise. It is a dance that teaches the world to love.
March 15, 2016
The Spirit of Tango
One of the greatest human limitations besides our short life span is our self-centeredness. We think first and often only from personal perspective, and we act first and often only for personal interests.
But mankind is not always like that. When humanity is in its infancy and childhood, we rely heavily on each other for survival, everything is shared. Fraternity, cooperation and Good Samaritanism are our first nature. Doctrines like individualism, individual rights and personal freedom appear much later in human history and are still imperfect theories, or in many ways even adverse to the best human interests overall, as attested by selfishness, greed, competition, aggression, inequality, monopolist business practice, the concentration of wealth in the hands of a few, the influence of money on politics, the spread of obscenity and violence, gun culture, homosexuality, same-sex marriage, single parent family, LGBTQIAPK, etc., all in the name of individual rights and freedom. "O Liberty! O Liberty! What crimes are committed in thy name!" - said Madame Jeanne-Marie Roland. Mankind is still in its adolescence too self-centric to understand the relation between the personal freedom of the individual and the communal interests of the human species as a whole. (See The World Needs a Different Philosophy.)
Perhaps the most important lessons that tango teaches us are that we are interdependent rather than independent, that we need each other to survive and succeed, that our well-being is inseparable from that of others, that one cannot be happy unless all are happy, that cooperation and sharing serve us better than competition and animosity, that human rights are the communal rights of the mankind as a species, not just personal rights, and that self-discipline and compassion are important attributes of what make us human. Tango tells the other side of the human story. It awakens the better part of the humanity in us and suggests a way for us to live together in peace and harmony through collaboration, generosity in spirit, loftiness of purpose and altruism. Wherever we go and dance, tango always reminds us that love, despite our many limitations, is what holds us together as a community, people, nation and species. (See The Freedom in Tango.)