Monday, February 14, 2011

Giving

Just bear with me for a moment.

The worst part about being a senior is being a smug bastard. I don’t know as much as I think ever. This weekend illuminated that—again. I hope it’s not the tragedy of being human. I never want to presume more than is true or beyond my scope of knowledge. I’m no Socrates—all I know is that I know nothing. He knew plenty. And I know plenty. I don’t know anywhere near everything though.

And I am searching for that clarity; the knowledge that what I know is useful and that there is plenty more to learn. I am searching for that innocence to approach everything as if it is the first experience. It is my goal in life to see things without the taint of other people’s prejudices; without my own. I suppose that is an impossible argument.

Bear with me. I want to listen to people without wandering around. I want to be present for everyone that comes to me. I feel bad every time I blow people off. I feel terrible every time I don’t listen. It is hard to quiet the busy mind. I am busy; my mind is going in many directions. I haven’t quieted it. I haven’t been in the moment recently.

I need to be with people where they are. That is a basic tenet of mediation and conflict resolution, and I have recently abandoned that. On Sunday, our wonderful and caring Mediation Trainer, Duke Fisher, spent an hour talking with me about goals for Fight Club. He gave me his ear, openly listened and reflected. Then he gave back valuable insights. And he was just with me. It is so valuable having an honest conversation with someone; it was a human experience. Duke tends to be the extreme in a world full of busy schedules and self-interest. He is a calming character; someone that gives his time, energy, and ear genuinely.

I’d like that more from other people in my life. I also know that I must do that to expect it from other people. Take them where they are. Support what they say. Listen genuinely. Give back what they said. Help them. Don’t shift back to the selfish id. The best way I can describe it is a perpetual hug with my presence. I want to give a comforting and genuine hug to those I interact with.