Friday, January 21, 2011

Random Thoughts Volume XV

I have returned to my old job after a three month sojourn in another department. It was a good experience and I am glad I had the opportunity. Admittedly I was apprehension when I went there but it turned out well. I learned some new things, worked with some new people, and realized that I have skills that can be used anywhere. I think in the future I will be more open to change and more willing to leave my comfort zone.

Over the weekend I found myself asking the question "When do you know when you have become who you are"? The journey of life is basically to become who you are. We are born pure and innocent and then we acquire our personalities and other defense mechanisms to shield us from life. The second half of our journey is spent attempting to take off our masks and to remove the armor we have acquired in order to rediscover our purity and innocence. The Buddhists call this "discovering the face we had before we were born". When I look in the mirror, and during moments of introspection, I wonder how far along I am on this journey of re-discovering who I am. What is my true essence? It is nearly impossible to know this when you are young. In our youth it is far more important for us to fit in, be like others, and find acceptance from others. This is considerably less important when you get older. I am still trying to get behind the masks and break through the armor to find the real me. I don't think I know who I am yet but I'm pretty sure I know who I'm not.

Yesterday it was hot in the office and I was having a hot flash so I decided to go outside for some fresh air. It was raining but I took a walk anyway. I was reminded of a quote that goes, "Some people walk in the rain and other people just get wet". Personally, I love walking in the rain. I never get wet because I walk between the rain drops. It's a Zen thing. I think the author of the quote was telling us that with the right attitude even a rainy day is a joy. Everyone knows I love snow but it was time for nature to give us a rain shower to wash away the dirt and the salt. We needed to clean everything up to prepare for the new snow we received last night.

Yesterday someone asked me if I was happy to be back in my old area in the office. I replied, "I'm happy wherever I am". OK, that's a little bit of a lie but not too far from the truth. I think a lot of happiness is attitude. In my mind, and the minds of many philosophers, happiness is a choice. Even though I am sometimes sad, in general I choose to be happy. Most of the time I am, especially when I am walking in the rain.

The following is a quote from the Tao. The Tao is a collection of daily thoughts rooted in Chinese philosophy. Here's today's quote with some commentary from Deng Ming-Dao and me.

Let us not follow vulgar leaders who exploit the fear of death, and promise the bliss of salvation. If we are truly happy they will have nothing to offer.

The commentary on today's quote says that some leaders use threats to win followers. Others woo with grand promises. If you have no satisfaction they offer bliss. If you feel inadequate they offer success. If you are lonely they offer acceptance.

When I read these thoughts it reminded me how many of our leaders prey on our fears and insecurities. You see it everyday in the media. True leaders set us free, they don't enslave us. True leaders give us hope, they don't fill us with fear. True leaders call us to greatness, they don't make us feel inadequate. True leaders give, they don't take. True leaders aren't perfect but they lead us to more perfect versions of ourselves. True leaders don't expect everyone to serve them, they serve everyone else.

Yesterday I received the following email from a lady friend, who is a yoga teacher, about my writing.

You have caused quite a stir among my friends. Several of them have checked out your blog and they are enthralled with your wisdom and wit. You may have groupies in the making. Seriously, isn't it wonderful there are so many other like minded people out there? So at those times you wonder if taking the time to write them is worth it, it is.

Darn! Where were all these women when I was young and single? Actually, at this point in my life it is difficult to even remember being young and single. I have always kept diaries and journals about what was going on in my life. It wasn't until about six or seven years ago, when my granddaughter was born, that I started writing publicly. No one was more surprised than me when people started reading my stuff and actually liking it. If I truly have a talent for writing then it is a gift. I would have preferred having a musical gift and being a guitar playing rock star but I do like to write. Other than some good English teachers I have never had any special training in writing. All I have ever done is write about what's going on in my life as honestly as possible. Fortunately I have the ability to do it using proper English and correct grammar. If I have "wisdom and wit" I don't know where that comes from. I usually just start typing and whatever comes out, comes out. 99% of what I write is completely spontaneous and I can't explain it's source. If you like it and it sometimes speaks to you, I am happy. Maybe my ability to touch people with my writing is my reason for being here. We all have a gift and we all have a reason for being where we are. It took me 50 years to learn this basic truth.

No comments: