Friday, December 27, 2013

labels & roles, patterns & habits

For most the holidays and year end are when matters come to a head - for better or worse. As we rush, rush, rush then crash headlong into our future.

Instead of waiting for a special occasion, would it not feel better to acknowledge the specialness of every moment - timely or not?

Rather than giving the wrong thing to the wrong person at the wrong time - how to do the opposite with attention and effort?

Giving is a disciplined art that needs years of practice and observation to be done appropriately.

The poet David Whyte writes of Giving - "The full genius of gift giving is found when we give what a person does not fully feel they deserve, but that does not overstretch the point, it is the appropriate but surprising next step in their lives. It disarms and moves and empowers all at once while gratifying the one who gives beyond most everyday satisfactions."

Hopefully our state of attention and affairs allows us to be creative and contemplative enough to do so.

If we missed it this year then there is hope in the New Year!

Friday, December 6, 2013

legacy & eulogy

“It was as if he was born to teach the age a lesson in humility, in humour and above all else in patience. . . .Today, finally, he blinked.  And some of us cry, knowing our eyes were opened to so much because of him.” ~ Bono’s statement on Nelson Mandela’s legacy

What makes a legend? What myths are woven to create and sustain the reality or illusion?

When does mere mortal become memorialized icon? 

Why would a human being choose to be a hero? Is it heroism or mere heroics that go down in the annals of history?

No mortal is born perfect. For a hero to arise from the masses what odds are overcome? For the hero to remain forever so what sacrifices are made ‘for the good of all’?

For a tale to captivate folks, for the birth or rise of a star, for the populace to believe a story – what does it take?

Today - as millions of people around the world reflect on the life and achievements of an extraordinary human being - it is timely to ask all these. 

Our lives have accelerated and intensified - grown more complex and convoluted. Technological advances
have birthed marvels and mysteries. We hurry to step up, keep on, and stay relevant or lose our place, get confused and retreat. 

As heroes of our past are passing away - who is replacing them and how are they chosen?

Whose life and achievement stand out as extraordinary to me today?

Do I consider myself in these reflections? 

If so - why? Otherwise -  why not?