Saturday, May 8, 2010

The fifth thing

'... we still must live on the world we've created - lightly, carefully, gracefully.'

The above is the last line in Bill McKibben's new book Eaarth. I trust he won't think I'm trying to spoil the ending of his passionate, well-researched and thought out book by noting it down.

I need to remember and act on the words above, not just in the way I garden or make purchases, but in the way I deal with people. People are 'in the world' as much as the plants and animals ... although there are times and meetings where I get pretty darn frustrated and don't want to treat anyone carefully, lightly, or gracefully ... which is why I need to remember the line.

And does it count as 'lightly, carefully, gracefully' if my way of interacting with people at a meeting has had to be augmented with specific 'how to handle people' exercises taken from a business group dynamic book, and rehearsed beforehand?

You know the sort of books ... they teach you how to 'hear' other people, but really you are using a formula to manipulate the situation to get something or to avert problems. And you have to hope that the person you are trying to 'dialogue' with hasn't read the same business communication book, because then it won't just be that you hear yourself rhyming off a script, but you might be caught out.

My husband tells me that in the 1980s works by Carlos Castenada were popular. I've never read his books, but Castenada says that the hunter/warrior must have these qualities: cunning, ruthlessness, sweetness, patience. I admit that I've always liked the list of four because it seems to me to be practical, realistic. Husband just now mentions that there is a fifth thing: if you apply those four, the spirit becomes active at opportune moments.

Perhaps this fifth thing is the balance or intuition that one develops, the knowing of what the right thing is to do?

There are times and people and places where I sure wish I had more of the fifth thing.

'lightly, carefully, gracefully'

Why's woman

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