Most of us feel we are in control of what is happening to us most of the time. But for all of us there are times of confusion and dislocation when we don’t know what has just happened or is happening. We may be alone or we may be in a group, but our actions can be characterized in several ways that are not necessarily dependent upon our state of mind at the time. We can be flailing around with no discernible focus, we can be proceeding in a straight and narrow course directly toward what we should be avoiding, we can be denying that we are confused at all and airily flit off into chaos – these are all responses that we’ve all indulged in at certain periods of confusion. However, in order to emerge from a state of confusion we must first identify what is confusing to us or about the situation. Taking stock of the situation should be the primary consideration when taking any action, but when one must evade confusion before taking any action it should be our primary mission. In order to know where to go one must know where one is in the first place. Shouldn’t dispersing confusion be a goal ahead of performing any action?
There are those times when going for it is all you’ve got. Going for it works especially well when you’re well grounded and have a good support system. If, however, you are going for it from a sense of desperation or from a lack of caring about the outcome of your leap, that is a different matter and rather than holding your nose, closing your eyes and taking the jump, you’d be much better off stopping to take a moment to evaluate the situation; it could be better to think before you act. Acting in haste might seem courageous or necessary, but hasty actions have a greater chance of ending ill and not well. It may even be better not to act at all, or perhaps it may be better for you to act, but to have another jump on the problem. Taking a moment to think could well lead to a happier outcome – you can create a plan; even if planned in that moment, any plan is better than blind action; you can take a moment to ready yourself and take a breath, you can enlist aid or communicate your plan to another. So isn’t even a moment of thought a better choice than leaping without thought?
I have started another blog which presents some of the writings of my father, who doesn’t like computers. Please feel free to take a look and decide if you or someone you know would be interested in following the paths of the meanderings of thoughts regarding our motivations and actions. Here is the link to the blog:
When there is much to be done, more than we think there is time for, we frequently choose to forge ahead without taking breaks. This strategy may work for a while in the short term, but over the long run it will not. Failing to take breaks will not work if there is not time to get all work done and it will not work when there is time to finish whatever work there is. It may be even more important to take a break when there is no pressure on you to get things done than when that pressure is there. If there is an abundance of food to gather, or if there are things prepared and ready for putting together, or if required mental preparation has all been done, then taking a break to prepare oneself for the possibility of needed of work to be done more quickly, or searching done more thoroughly, is a wise choice to make. While taking a break can provide much needed rest from the frantic pace arising from large amounts of work to do, taking a break when one is bored from having too little to do can ensure that more of the little work to done is done well instead of haphazardly. Little work generally serves to lower the queality of work and breaks that one can use to focus on something a littly different than nothing can serve to refocus the mind. Aren’t breaks from relative leisure as necessary as breaks from overwork?
When we see someone enjoying themselves, having a good time we want to join in or we want at least to start having a good time ourselves we become envious. When see that someone has something we had never thought of, or never thought anyone in our group might have, we want one. We are prompted by our senses to develop a longing for things we don’t or can’t have; and we are prompted by our feelings, such as envy to desire these things. However, it is important to remember that we can’t always join in when we’d like to and we can’t always have what we want to. Even though, inside, we know we can’t take part in or possess these things, we nevertheless try to. Frequently we try by asking what comes down to, me too? Rarely we received what we ask from others, but if we’re really asking the question of ourselves we may have a chance at successfully obtaining what we set out to gain. Only in ourselves and our evaluations of our true wants and needs can we find a truly satisfactory outcome to our desires. If we depend upon others to fully support us or to gives things merely because we ask we haven’t developed much knowledge or insight into ourselves. Isn’t consulting ourselves and saying ‘me too’ more satisfactory than asking ‘me too?’?.
Strength is not all about how hard you can pound another into submission or how quickly you can run someone out of your space; it can be found in endurance, character, morality; and it can be found through and in weakness. When one lacks in the accepted form of strength the only thing to do when strength is needed is to exploit some other trait or traits in its place. In addition to frequently achieving your aims in this way is also serves to deceive another into believing you have their particular view of strength and will gain you your freedom or protect you from physical or mental harm. It does not hurt to feel a bit superior to your opponent when you have bested him by not using strength, but by using your wits instead. Some people may think of this or these strategies as ‘cheating’ or as somewhat underhanded, however when one feels oneself in danger or is about to lose something quite valuable to one, it is time to use any strategy that seems as if it may work. Once one has used such strategies, the key is to not feel guilty because cultural mores instilled in us when are very young. If it worked, then it’s fine. Strength through weakness is better than the consequences to us, isn’t it?
We have all asked, without making any effort ourselves if there is anything ‘out there’ for me. Whether it’s food or a piece of mail, a treat or a caress, even a word or two, we anticipate the answer being yes. We expect at least a response and with a response we have gotten part of what we’ve asked for since, though it wasn’t spoken, part of what we’re asking is to be noticed. If we look we’ll find that we ask the question from behind some kind of shield, whether it be peering from behind a door, while looking down at something in our hands, or while the person we’re asking is involved in something. Most times we don’t want the world or that one person to know that we are feeling needy, at that particular time or at all times, so we hide behind our shield and a commonplace question. The need to hide the need is comfort only to ourselves because it is patently obvious to the one we’re addressing. But in this culture it is necessary to appear confident and in control at all times even though that cannot be true the majority of the time. But also in this culture appearances seem to be the end all and be all. Shouldn’t we be presenting our real feelings and needs to the world instead of losing support by appearing to be what we’re not?
Each of us is one person, yet we have many faces with which we confront or greet our worlds. Most times we are not even aware that we are changing our faces, unless to briefly contemplate aging. Our faces change with our moods and our feelings, our circumstances and our expectations, and in response to others and our surroundings. Often it is good that we communicate our moods and desires with our faces and bodies since they are demonstrably much more capable of conveying the information we would like have conveyed and much more economically than the spoken or written word. The negative side to using our faces as communication tools is that over time we can learn to express what we would like to have seen rather than what we really think or feel. If we are found out we may lose the trust of those we communicate with on a regular basis, those we communicate with may come to distrust their own interpretations, or both. With the loss of trust comes conflict and dissension and a breakdown of one’s smaller and even larger communities. If one believes and believes in what one is communicating, that truth will shine through in our faces; with our one example we may be able to make or keep our one tiny corner of the world a good place to live. Shouldn’t one avoid contorting one’s face to promulgate a belief one doesn’t hold?
The background doesn’t always get noticed, that’s why it is background. on the other hand the background can be beautiful in itself and still emphasize the beauty or performance of the main event. Background, remaining out of the limelight while being watched, looked at, or vaguely heard is appropriate and is its primary purpose; when the show is over or someone comes to study the complete work, the background should take its place as being just as vitally important to a whole site or event as the star. In the same way we can try to choose to be the star at all times in our lives but that is just not feasible; being on view or performing is deadly drudgery and we can lose sight of our own identity since performance is geared to be pleasing to others and does not take our own selves into consideration. However we cannot always remain in the background or we could lose ourselves in a different way, by not ever expressing ourselves we also fail to define our beliefs in our minds either. Balancing being the focus of all attention with a bit of a fade into the background for reflection is difficult, but necessary to be able to see ourselves from many and varied viewpoints. Having all attention directed toward us is nice, but isn’t allowing ourselves a back seat at times necessary, too?
We associate the reaper with the presence of death and call that reaper grim. But much more common than the grim reaper is the common, everyday reaper like you and me. Every day we receive the benefits and negatives of what we’ve sown in the past. From our actions come the reactions of others and the snap back or gentle reassurance of the world we humans populate. If we remember to or make an effort to ensure that what we reap are good things we will be able to take pleasure in the sowing. If we pay no attention, take no care is how, what, and where we sow, we will reap nothing but disappointment, emptiness, and trouble for ourselves. One of the worst things we can do is to pay attention to how and what others are sowing while neglecting our own tasks. What others are doing is no business of ours unless a partnership has been negotiated; when we poke our noses into another’s field our own becomes open to the preying of vandals or worse. Our reaping must also be accomplished in good order or the most conscientious sowing will have been in vain. Paying attention to our reaping will ensure that our crop does not rot or blow away or get stolen and our sowing will not have been in vain. Isn’t paying attention a basic building block to may achievements?