One day, ages ago, in the village of Quizur in Costa Rica, all the children suddenly disappeared! A young teacher named Rasur had called them into a mountain and was teaching them about empathy and insight, the hidden treasures in their hearts. He taught them to use these innate strengths to connect to their own inner lives, to enrich their relationships with others, and to care for nature.
After realizing the youngsters were missing, the parents searched the countryside, calling for them. They heard them singing inside the mountain, and they looked for a hillside entrance but didn’t find one. Instead they had a timeless moment when their painful memories were erased and their innocence was restored.
At day’s end the children emerged, radiant with joy, and told their parents they had learned from Rasur that “empathy + insight = connection.” Now the adults were reassured that their children were safe and were having an extraordinary experience in this unique classroom. They allowed the children to go back every day and, in the evening, would hear what their sons and daughters had learned.
Before long, the empathy of the villagers created more harmony; now people walked arm in arm and sat beneath trees to listen to each other. Insights soon led to a wave of creativity – an artist was painting a magnificent landscape of the mountains, and the musicians were playing symphonies that could take your breath away. Young people were creating vegetable gardens that looked like works of art, and the women’s embroidery depicted the beauty of life.
At week’s end, Rasur said he had to teach other children in the world. The children cried, “Oh no, don’t go!” Rasur replied, “Don’t worry. Just bend your ear down to your heart and you’ll know I’m there, just like everyone else that you love.”
The children came out of the mountain one last time and told their parents that Rasur had traveled on. They all began to talk about the meaning of this visit. One of the men said, “Before directing the lightning in the sky, we must first harness the storms in our own hearts.” The other villagers agreed. And they remembered how to stay connected so that each new generation passed this skill on.
This tale illustrates the power of connection. While modern life is a far cry from this idyllic village, connection has been shown to be the most essential ingredient for a healthy society. If people were schooled in the art of connection, we could resolve challenges without unnecessary suffering and use our strengths to thrive.
Adapted from the Costa Rican poem “Rasur” (Semana de esplendor) by Roberto Brenes Mesén
Rasur Foundation International aims to create a world where every person practices the art of connection and passes this gift on. This vision was inspired by this story.