Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Clear View, Clear Action

We all face difficulty. Simultaneously, we can feel completely alone in our struggle through that difficulty. Yet, we’re not alone, we only feel alone. That feeling of aloneness may originate from the broken ways we all communicate with each other. And, listening plays a huge role in that communication; what we say after listening can transform the dynamic between people.

The concern, then, is in continuing to listen after we speak. We easily become caught up in our own response and lose sight of what the other person says next. It is very easy to lose our clear vision, and once we lose that clear vision, we have lost the ability for clear action.

There are so many tactics and strategies that people use consistently and constantly that cloud clear vision with raw emotion. Our emotions and feelings are our own, yet we give people carrots and sticks to manipulate those emotions.

It’s not that these people use those carrots and sticks maliciously. Simply, they, like us, want to be free of pain and free of suffering. They feel, mistakenly, that if they have it their way, the pain and suffering will simply disappear. Over most of their life, they’ve learned how to poke and prod people with these carrots and sticks, and still, they hurt and suffer. Possibly, there never has been due consideration of the effectiveness of this strategy.

Remember In our youth, the carrots from others were few and the sticks were many. This is why bullying is ever-present today. There are multitudes of ways in which to wield and throw those sticks now. Not only do we have our mouth, we also have the web and texting.

This reminds me of the evolution of our species. We used rocks and sticks as cavemen. As humanity evolved, we began to use these as tools, less as weapons. We learned to grow those carrots, not just eat them.

There are parallels to our growing up and becoming adults. We don’t just eat the carrots we’re given; we grow carrots and give them away now. That’s having a clear vision and seeing it through to clear action: preparing the field, planting a crop, tending the crop, picking the product, protecting the product, and everyday tending of the field: clear vision through to sustained clear action.

Between the clear vision and the clear action are so many steps, as this analogy clearly shows. The field is our life, the crops are the ideas we allow in our lives, and the product is our action. Our action is what grows out of how well we’ve taken care of our life and the ideas that we plant and nourish there. Our action can be planted by others or by only ourselves.

What people do with our ideas is primarily up to others and the states of their lives. Some people are currently in a state where the field that is their life has been poisoned and drained of nutrients. That’s why any good idea must be accompanied with nourishment. Otherwise, the idea may never grow anywhere but in our own field.

We must tend to the fields that surround us for two major reasons: others’ sake and our sake. How is it that the community our life is surrounded by affects our field? Run-off. Run-off from the poisons in their fields drains into ours; their poisons are our poisons.

We can counteract these by constantly taking care of ourselves and consistently nourishing all of our life. Also, the atmosphere, the air around us, is almost impossible to clean up on our own, yet it runs right over, around and through us. It has never made more sense why some people choose the life of a hermit.

As we take care of ourselves and nourish our spirit, we gain clear vision. We’re ready to plant what we want to grow. We must keep in mind that it may take many growing seasons to not only prepare our field but many seasons to produce the completely clear action that others would be willing to take into their life. Tend to your fields and to your communities with joy, compassion and patience. Those are universal nourishments that clear the air, clean the soil and ready us for action.

The journey from clear vision to clear action isn’t as simple as some fancy phrase. The journey is what we are; the action is what we make of what we are. The journey is just beginning.

1 comment:

  1. Being from a farm background, I like your analogy of a field taking years to get the soil in good condition at times. Yes, how we prepare our soil and the chemicals put upon our crops all can have a lasting effect upon our environment, our health, and our standard of living. Everything does have a consequence; therefore, solutions need to be broad and competent and not just fast.. meg