Tag Archives: connection

Day 434: Money Does Not Measure Value

I read an article in the newspaper today about a research study that had found that children that are deemed “kind” as young earn higher wages when they are older. And then there was a general discussion  on how to support your child to become more kind so that they could be able to earn more money when they become adults.

To me such a perspective on children is fucked up. What happens is that the entirety of the child and a supportive quality becomes measured against one aspect – money – aka survival. Seeing kids in that light has such a depressing vibe and unfortunately the vantage point of “money first” has really come to define most parts of society. It is seldom that principles are discussed in politics without being related to money and costs. And when it comes to education and choosing a profession, what is seen as the most important thing is earning potential. Though is that all we are supposed to be and do in this life? Earn money to survive and buy things and then eventually die? What about giving to society and other people? Those values have been lost – and that is something we have to change.

And, I do see that the new generation that is coming of age has a new way of looking at things. Environment has become important to youngsters and principled living is on the rise. And that is what I think we all need to incorporate into our lives to become more fulfilled. We do miss living a life that has impact and that is part of something greater. We will never be able to buy ourselves peace and fulfillment – there will always be a feeling of emptiness within us as long as we do not make the whole a part of us and vice versa. And that which is humanities greatest weakness, our urge to be individuals and that we cannot work together towards common goals, when changed, that is going to be our greatest asset and road to salvation. If we would work together and put principles first and money second – there are few things we would not be able to do.

Conscription is a way in which countries have been able to harness the strength of unity that is available when people work together. Unfortunately, we have used that power to make war. Though, the way I see it, conscription could be used to support equality, connection and growth in a community. Imagine all youngsters for one year in their early adulthood being sent to work in some vital aspect of society, such as farming, creating infrastructure, or constructing housing. Not only would it support connection between people, it would also give young people an practical education for free that they could use later on in life.

The point I want to make is that it is not healthy to measure life according to money – it is not healthy to measure society according to money and you cannot measure the vitality of a country using money. What matters is relationships between people and how we care for one another. I would like my daughter to grow up and live in a country where I knew that whatever happened to me, she would be wholly taken care of. A country where money would not matter, because what mattered was to give everyone the best life possibly. What a society and country that would be. Imagine the amount of fear that we could remove. Because is not the root of all fear that we are going to be hurled out the window and unto the streets the moment we are not able to fight back and defend our position?

At least I know what I am going to do personally. I am not going to evaluate my child based on money. And I will help her to develop supportive qualities – not for money – but because she will be able to live a much more fulfilling life.

Day 411: Connection and Leadership

Today I decided to apply the words ‘interaction’ and ‘connection’ – and these are words that I am not naturally inclined to live. What comes easy to me are words like structure, discipline and focus – words that I have mostly applied in work settings – and they are pretty far away from the soft expressions of interaction and connection – even though structure, discipline and focus can also enhance and deepen interaction and connection.

When I experimented with the word connection – I could see that it is an active movement within me to decide to relate and engage with whatever is here in my reality. Thus – it is not necessarily about connecting with human beings even though that is definitely one of the more challenging aspects of living connection. No – connection is more of a spiritual stance – a way of being. Let me give an example.

I was out in the greenhouse replanting my tomato plants. They outgrew their seedling pots and needed bigger containers to allow their roots to spread. I brought up the word ‘connection’ within me and looked at how I could apply it. And then I saw that I could engage with the tomatoes – feel them – sense them – and nourish them with the gentleness of my touch as I slowly removed the old pot and inserted the plants into their new home. And even though I was doing the same thing – replanting the tomatoes – I experienced it completely different – and remaining in that ‘connection’ also required an effort. It had to push myself to be aware, to stay connected, present, close to the plants – and unless I pushed myself – it was easy for me to lose my touch and become led astray inside my mind – by placing attention on meaningless thoughts – preoccupation to not remain centered here.

Since I started experimenting with living this word I have noticed within me a greater urge to share myself with others – it is as if I am opening up within me this relationship of giving and receiving that exists everywhere. I have realized that we all have something to give – we all have a point where we are meant to stand and share ourselves. And it is not a static point – it is a flexible and ongoing movement that depends on our context and on everyone else. When we are strong in a part of our lives – then it is our point to step in as leaders and share our insights and solutions and help finding and creating the way forward. We all have that drive make the entire group functional – to enhance the weakest among us to equalize – and to create a solid, equally empowered group, that can take on the challenges far more effectively than a single person.

This reminds me of documentary I recently saw about a horse whisperer. She explained that she had once asked a horse who was the leader in its pack. And for those that are not familiar with horses – among horse owners it is common knowledge that each pack has a hierarchy. However, the horse whisperer did not get the answer she suspected. The horse explained that the pack has no leader. Each pack member is part of a dynamic and flexible system where each member of the pack is assigned leader depending on the type of challenge that the pack is faced with. For example – the pack will have one individual that steps in when the pack is threatened by predators, perhaps, because that particular horse is the fastest, and strongest. And it will have one horse that steps in when the pack needs to find pasture, perhaps because that horse has the best sense of smell. And the competition between the horses that can be seen are only to establish which horse is suited for what positions in the pack.

And I found this perspective extremely interesting – a dynamic and flexible system of leadership – where basically – each situation is handled by the perfect leader. And it makes so much sense – why do we humans believe that is possible for one human to be a leader in every field? For example a president? He or she can hardly master each of the many, many fields and subjects that a modern society comprises. And still – that is how we do it. Another problematic aspect when it comes to humans and leadership is that we put a value on leadership – and think that the leader is more than his pack – a special individual. While in-fact – the leader is very much a product and a part of the pack – and indeed completely helpless without it. Thus – the leader serves the pack equally as the pack serves the leader. The problem with us humans is that we become addicted to the sense of power that being a leader gives us – and we miss the very point as to what it means to be a leader – namely – to share our strengths with the group and the empower the weakest to stand equal with the rest.

Staying connected to and in tune with others, and to the world, have opened up this point within me of understanding purpose, position and placement in the world more clearly – and what it means to give and receive – and what parts of myself that it is important that I share with the world. For example – with my tomato plants – I must stand as the custodian and caretaker – because they cannot do that for themselves – they are dependent upon me. And similar with the animals I have in my life – I have to be their support when it comes to food and housing. And then in my line of work – where I stand as the person that gives advice to people in pressured and difficult situations – I must be the clarity, the support, the stability and direction that these people for a moment need someone to take on. Thus – my position is a leader – my responsibility to give and to share shifts, changes, and alters depending on my environment – depending on what I and others are going through – it is not something static that can be forever locked in its current position – connection is fresh goods – it cannot become a memory because then it is not real.

I will continue exploring these words and see where they take me.

Day 401: A Dramatic Unfolding of Events

Lately I have been walking through a fascinating point with regards to the emotional experience of betrayal. Before this, I did not consider myself a particularly sensitive, dramatic or emotional person, however, while this might be so in certain contexts, I definitely still have points to work with in other contexts.

This particular point opened up when I invited a friend to come and stay with me over the weekend. We agreed on a date, though, shortly before he was supposed to come over, my friend cancelled and told me that he had other responsibilities to tend to and could not make it. My initial reaction was that of worry/fear, believing that there was something wrong with me that had caused my friend to cancel. Then followed a reaction of feeling betrayed by my friend, because I felt as if he had promised me that he would meet up, and now broken that promise, and that feeling of betrayal in turn became resentment and anger.

Now, when this happened within me, I was pretty much taken by surprise, because I usually do not react like this. Though, on the other hand, I seldom invite anyone over, and I have not ever been a person to naturally ‘put myself out there’ when it comes to friends and relationships – hence the entire situation was a little bit out of character as to my part within it. Regardless, the final stage of this chain of reactions within me was blame, and while in this state of blame, my mind fervently began looking for ways through which I could take my revenge. These plots usually contained some way in which I rejected my friend and ‘made him feel what I had felt’.

Obviously, I could see clearly the insanity of what was going on inside of me, and I think the reason for this is because I am on average not very emotional. I am instead, most often, levelheaded and stable – and I do not accept and allow myself to use the relationships I have in my life to wind me up emotionally. I started looking at this point that I was walking through – I began applying self-forgiveness – and I could see, realize and understand a few underlying themes within me that were creating this experience.

Firstly, I could see that in relationships, especially those of friendships, I am still holding unto a sense of inferiority – where I feel that I am fortunate and lucky to be able to spend time with the other person, and secretly, deep within me, feel that I do not really deserve it. This belief then creates a tendency within me to compromise and change myself with others to make sure that they like me and that I retain the friendship. Seeing this, I realized that one important point that I will have to change is HOW I approach relationships. I cannot accept and allow a inequality within me, in the sense that I am either less, or more, than the other person, and that I hence have to fight, or that the other person have to fight, to retain the connection. In order for me to be stable in relationships, the approach must be one of equality, where I share myself, naturally, as who I am with another, and also realizing that whether the connection leads to a deeper connection or not, that is not something that I can control.

Secondly, I could see, realize and understand that in order to grow and expand when it comes to relationships in my life, I have to be the one that takes the initiative, and invite, communicate, push to share and give of myself, and at times, that will not be reciprocated, and other times it will. However, what is important to remember is that I cannot accept and allow MY expression within it all to change depending on whether my approaches are reciprocated or not – it must be something that I do from within and as a starting point of self-trust, self-love and self-worth – and where it hence does not matter how others will respond.

Thirdly, I could see that what this entire situation has shown me, is that I still have a lot of work to be done on my self-image and self-value – and hence I have pushed myself to be grateful for the various patterns that have opened up within and through this event – and utilized this way of approaching my reactions to let go of blame and resentment. Because I know that it is never about others, it is always about myself, and my relationship with myself.

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