There is nothing wrong with asking another person for their opinion about a course of action you may wish to take, but you should keep in mind that you are you, and the only one who can actually make the choice for you is you. It can be extremely tempting to ask for someone’s opinion, follow their advice, then feel free to blame them if things do not turn out as you would have liked them to. This action you’ve chosen to take does two things: it spuriously absolves you of any responsibility for consequences of the action, though this may backfire if positive consequences ensue, and/or it creates an enmity or distance between you and the person whose advice you sought. In any case, if you develop the habit of claiming no responsibility for any of your actions the effects of doing so will primarily be felt by you, not others, in a negative way. You will be deprived of the satisfaction you can receive by making good choices, you will be deprived of learning opportunities, you will be deprived of the respect of others, and more. Isn’t owning your choices more positive than rejecting them?
Once we get used to something, it’s familiar; once something is familiar it is no longer threatening by its strangeness or its oddity. If there is no way to avoid being around something or someplace different than we’re used to we become habituated to that new or different thing. Then, when we’ve become habituated, we assume that everyone will like, understand, or want what we’ve become familiar with and consider normal. We find it very hard to understand when our lifestyle or way of thinking is rejected by others. We very seldom stop to think that, of course, they are habituated to their own lifestyles and frequently we will reject theirs in turn. This can become a damaging cycle that leads to more and more and greater and greater misunderstandings until someone takes those misunderstandings and creates threats or worse from them. It would be so much easier for those of us who want to stay indoors when it’s cold to do so and not to deride or question those who would rather be outdoors. Preferences are not a matter of right or wrong, they are simply preferences and should not be taken as a personal statement to a specific person or group. If you like & prefer what is familiar to you, won’t you let others like & prefer what is familiar to them?
Sometimes we must be reminded of the big picture: we focus so entirely on the minutiae of our daily lives that we tend to forget that there is a bigger picture and that we have a part in it. To become so insular that you lose sight of everything but the microcosm that is you, your family and work and leisure friends is to deny that anything can affect you but those relatively few people. Whether you like it or not everyone is affected to activities of their larger community: city, region, and country among others. These entities can have an influence on even the food you eat. But we cannot forget that the little picture matters fully as much as the big one. Without keeping some focus on our little pictures we run the risk of alienating and losing the support of family and friends, or losing sight of the fact that we actually do need food and shelter, or miss out on the small pleasures that keep us going day-to-day. The key is maintain a sense of balance and to take a regular look at how we are responding to all of our environment, not just a part of it. Don’t you feel more completely aware when you are seeing both the big and little pictures of your life?
There are times when we just don’t want to hurry, we want to slow our neck-breaking pace to be able to look around, we want to take our time and feel comfortable. we don’t want to go to sleep right now, we want to wander around and relax; doing, reading, or thinking just one more thing. Dawdling is usually associated with children who lag when you are trying to get somewhere, pull your hand while they try to examine something to the side, or whine about going to bed. Though it doesn’t seem so dawdling is most often a function of curiosity, not of laziness or whining dislike of whatever is to hand. If we weren’t curious about the world around us or inside us we wouldn’t be tempted to slow down and observe things closely enough to understand them and ponder them in a leisurely way. It can be a real pleasure to relax with one’s own thoughts and not be hurry, hurry, hurrying to accomplish so much in the limited time we believe have, but it can also be difficult to slow down. It’s odd that a lot of the time we must make an effort to look around and truly see what we are looking at and allow ourselves to have complete thoughts about it. Don’t you think dawdling could help us slow down a bit and observe a bit more?
Occasionally we find that the only way to get some attention paid to us or to a cause we are currently espousing is to stir things up a bit. To speak loudly or constantly or insistently enough that in frustration or weariness or defense others stop to actually listen to our message. These methods may work to some extent but they often engender only an apathetic agreement with no real commitment to our ideas or pleas for action. To effectively catch people’s attention and to motivate them to positive and productive action making small, consistent waves in their worlds can be much more to the point than making tsunami sized waves directionless, stormy waves that overwhelm and destroy our objectives or the goals we’re trying to meet. We can more easily set aside obstacles and make progress with a group of small, but consistent waves that meld together and conquer by working together and thus growing in strength and power and inexorably in the same direction. Small persuasions using logic and reachable, small steps are less intimidating and more satisfying by their successful achievement than large, flashy stabs toward unreasonable objectives. Isn’t it more satisfying to be effective with less effort than more?
Living your life as a spy or spying for a living must be an incredibly lonely and unsatisfying way of life. From a fair number of people’s points of view spies are always looking in from the outside and never get a chance to feel they belong. Although spying may bring you great observational skills and a fantastic memory how could you ensure that they would be used in positive ways. Once the habit of spying is developed, it seems that habit would begin to, and eventually, permeate all aspects of your life. There are times and those of us who may spy only upon one or two occasions; such as when we feel we’ve been wronged or hurt and we would like to find a way to get back at someone or have something to alleve our hurt. Or we may want to spy on someone to see how they’ve managed something that we haven’t and that we would like to accomplish. There is not really any kind of positive reason to spy on anyone in ordinary life. If we would like to know something we should be direct and ask; if we would like to get back at someone we should examine our motives and opt for another route to feeling better. Direct confrontation of problems and people is better than underhanded behavior, isn’t?B
Not only is it important to keep all your ducks in a row, but it is extremely important to just where they are. If you find yourself in a place where you are whole and contented and at peace, but you don’t know how you got there or how you were motivated to follow a goal there, then no matter how straight and even and beautiful your ducks are, they won’t be of any use to you. Once you’ve gained knowledge and strength, maturity and spiritual peace you must not turn your back on your ducks since without attention and nurturing they may fall out of line or wither and become malnourished. Defining and maintaining pursuit of goals, continuing to be curious and inquisitive, and staying with a spiritual path can all help your ducks grow straight and stay comfortably full. The most important part of duck care and maintenance is to pay attention – without paying attention to your inner ducks it is easy to lose your way on the path to your goals, achievements, and comfort; without orderliness you may find yourself flailing around ineffectively and losing any ground you may have previously gained. Don’t you want to have your ducks in a row?