Slowly slowly as good days passed, hardest ones arrived. Three deaths and earning a bagful of silence later, we started sleeping again, or may be not. But mind does not change as of yet. Because Ruts don’t dig themselves. Most of the time, we’re in a rut because that’s precisely where we put ourselves. Out of many, some actions become habits, and habits get repeated because they feel safe. The easiest way to make things more interesting is to simply stop repeating your habitual behavior. And that often comes from reacting to triggers. Remove the triggers and you can alter the habits. Tiny changes. Different ways to keep score. Tomorrow comes daily. But we don’t have to take the same route to get there.
The poet-priest Kabir says, the first thing in the morning, do not rush off to the work. But take down your musical instrument and play it. Then test your work in the same way. If there is no music in it, set it aside, and go find what has music in it, for you to play it again.
In these ongoing paralysing times of helplessness, while doing nothing; close your eyes. Think of water, a river. And if possible become it. Shiva was eyes wide open in all directions. Yet the destructive eye had to open, and took him inwards. Ujjain arrived in the morning. We went to pataloka to touch the equator in dim light and later ate potato spice. Darkness is the birth place of all creations. A child becomes in the dark. The lights glows the most in the dark. It is not that the darkness is wrong. It’s a part of life, a backdrop for the stars at night, the space between what you know. Darkness has a way of reminding you of the light. ExistING side by side. Sometimes overlapping, one explaining the other. And Mangla, the beautiful brown cow here in the village is pregnant. One big similarity, between a cow and a human mother is that both take nine months for their child to come out playing in the wild. Also one of many reasons, the oldest living civilisation …
People in general have been generous with us through the years. A doctor who took the time to understand our pain. A server who didn’t hesitate and brought to us what we needed before we even knew we needed it. A client who gave us a project at just the right time. Gifts create connection and possibility, but not all gifts have monetary value. In fact, some of the most important gifts involve time, effort and care instead. Money was invented long after humans arrived on the scene, and commerce, as we have seen- cannot solve all problems. In this moment when we are disconnected and afraid, uncertain of the future, not only of us but of humanity altogether, the answer might not be a freebie. That might simply push us further apart. The answer might be showing and standing up to do the difficult work of smiling, connecting, of caring, of telling the other, I am and of extending ourselves where it’s not expected.
Peace might not mean getting everyone else to do what you want them to do. Instead, it may involve understanding that people don’t always want what we want and don’t often believe in what we believe. Everyone has their own narrative and is struggling with their own fears. We can begin there. Most of the time, people want to be seen, understood and appreciated. And if we can offer someone dignity with respect, we give them a gift that is difficult to find. In these dire times when people are forced to push every other, further away, Share, Give; each day, some way. As there lies that one eternal way, to Peace.
Years from now, after this event is long over, what should we remember about it? A week from now, when the crisis hits, what should we remember about this meeting? Tomorrow, when the day gets busy again, what would you like me to remember about the discussion we just had? Begin with the end in mind.
Draw a perfect circle. Use a compass or a plotter. Now, zoom in. If you zoom in close enough, you’ll discover that it’s not a perfect circle at all. In fact, anything we create, at close enough magnification, isn’t perfect. It’s foolish to wait until you’ve made something that’s perfect, because you never will. The alternative is to continue to move toward your imaginary ideal, shipping as you iterate. Getter better is the path to better.
A checklist to get you started—you can either do the same thing or a different thing… More of the same Persist Get the word out Doing something different Change an element of what you do Raise your prices Lower your prices Make it better Tell a different story Serve a different customer Enter a new segment Change the downstream effects of your work Earn trust Make bigger promises Organize Get better clients Do work that matters to someone