Saturday, February 16, 2008

Living in the Moment

I took this class, back at Silver Lake College, called "conflict resolution." I think it was actually required for my business degree. I know for sure, thought, that the class drove me nuts. The textbook was written by John Denver's bodyguard (I kid you not) and stressed things like positive attitude and letting agression flow past you. (If you knew me, you'd be rolling on the floor by now.) The coursework came right out of the Hallmark aisle at Walgreens: "Try to see the other person's point of view." "Don't sweat the small stuff." Et cetera, ad nauseum. And I paid through the nose for those credits!

One class, we went over this supposedly ancient saumari parable from the book. I may have some of the details wrong, but here goes:

A warrior lost his footing in the heat of combat, and stumbled
over the edge of a cliff. As he fell, he managed to catch hold
of a small bush growing out of the
side of the steep cliff face. Above him, a fierce opponent
waited for a chance to strike. Below him, an angry lion paced,
waiting for him to fall. And the small bush
from which he dangled was being slowly uprooted by his weight.

As he pondered this, he noticed a bright berry
growing from the tip of the branch to which he clung.
He plucked the berry, ate it, and smiled.

The point, of course, is the savor small bits of goodness in life even when faced with enormous pressure and trouble. Riiiiiight. If it was me, I'd be throwing that stupid berry at the lion, trying to scrabble sideways on the cliff, anything to try and find a better way. Screw the berry.

Anyway, I'm feeling a little pressure today. I came into work to get some stuff done, and got side-tracked by other people who weren't supposed to be there but also came in to get some stuff done - and discovered they needed my help to do it. And of course, I also have my moonlighting gig at home, for which I should be spending regular evening hours telecommuting for the good for the real estate world at large. (You'll notice my use of the word "should," here.) Plus, add in all the normal stuff we all face, especially in winter in Wisconsin.

And so, I bring you this little bit of peace and tranquil beauty from my morning ride:

Are we feeling calmer yet?

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