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Sunday, October 30, 2016
I'm Working at Listening
Here's a review of this blog's postings:
5% - Great, almost publication worthy
60% - Good, postings that I think are reasonably okay
20% - Okay (at the time), but I find them embarrassing now
15% - Sheer, utter, unadulterated crap
I'd consider THIS POSTING to be in the 5%, and it's not even all that old.
Why? Well for me, it was almost as if that particular thought was planted, just in time, to help me now. The "now" part is something that I'm not going to be particularly transparent about, for two reasons: (1) I actually find it interesting and challenging to write about something without actually saying what the "something" is; and (2) I just can't, for reasons that I'll explain in the future.
Anyway, as I think about spirituality and the notion of trying to understand the larger universe around us, I'm reminded that while some hold fast in the notion of predestination*, I tend to take a different tact. Specifically, we're all walking this journey in life and along the path we're always presented with choices. Yes, sometimes we're put into situations where it may seem like we don't have a choice, but that's a false notion (at best). I think the more correct description is that we always have choices to make, including the choice to, well, not make a choice. It's these choices in our lives that define us, probably more so than anything else.
As professionals, we make a choice as to how we "show up" (with a nod to a great former leader who taught me the importance of always being mindful of this fact) when we go to work.
As citizens we make a choice as to how we stay informed about the issues of the day.
As parents we make choices about how we respond to our children.
As partners we make a choice as to who we spend our lives with.
As human beings we make a choice as to how we view the world around us...be it a world of fear & darkness or a world of hope & light.
You see, the bigger point is this: It's not the events in life or where we find ourselves around which things pivot...it's the choice we make about (and in response to) the events that matter the very most. Now I understand if that sounds, well, trite (at best) and overly simplistic, but I tell you all with complete honesty that it's taken me decades of living to even grasp this concept. As a younger man I would look at world I was living in and bemoan my plight, not realizing that it wasn't the "plight" that was to blame. In fact, the places we all see ourselves in are always temporary, at least up until we die. Until then, we have far more control than we can ever really realize.
The good news in all of this, I think, is that I don't think we have to make those choices alone. I think that we're always given subtle clues (whispers, if you will) to help guide us. We just have to be listening...at watching.
(*) With thanks to the almost omnipotent Google for the following: