Archive for April, 2008

What is moral
is what you feel good after.
Ernest Hemingway

Acting ethically isn’t always easy, but the ethical choice is nearly always obvious. We know without doubt what behaviour we’re proud of, and what we’d rather veil from public view.

Like photographs on film, the black or white of ethical issues are exposed when brought from darkness into light. That which we hide from plain sight will weigh us down and shatter us.

Ethics isn’t determined by written rules or standards. It isn’t external to us. Our ethics are determined by our internal gut response to the simple self posed question.

“Would we care if everyone knew what we chose to do?”

We’re our own inescapable judge and jury. With every act we hide from public view – we hand ourselves both judgment and sentence.

Forget corporate policy and stated rules of behaviour, an ethical person or company operates on a single principle… they’re proud to say, this is what we chose to do.

Our moral compass is really a sundial, it works best when placed in the full light of day.

Ethics are paraded by our chosen actions, not by signs hung up on corporate walls.

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No snowflake in an avalanche
ever feels responsible.
Stanislaw Lec

It is difficult to justify righteous dismay at the loss of panoramic views, when standing behind windows of a mountain home. When we’re part of the scenery, we’re part of the problem.

It is the lifeboat problem writ large. We’re all both cause, and potential solution, to the problems we encounter. When we act as if we’re alone, we’re in conflict with those who act as us.

This is true in the smallest of encounters. When we both argue as if we each have the monopoly on truth, then nothing is achieved save strife. Two rocks never merge, they grind each other down.

Do nothing more than recognize that not only ‘you’, but ‘we’ exist, and solutions present themselves. It’s more than ‘give and take’, it’s an acceptance that your needs are rightfully the same as mine. To be in conflict with you, is to be in conflict with myself.

We’re all part of a global association with many local chapters. We penned no constitution, we have no written rules, we signed no binding contract… but as surely as an honest judge, our deeds decide our consequences

In the frustration of a traffic jam, it’s hypocrisy to ignore the car we’re seated in.

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Would the child you once were,
Be proud of who you’ve become.

In all the world there is only one who can see through all our lies, ourselves.

This is either our greatest weakness, or our greatest strength, depending on our integrity.

When we encounter an internal lie, and we do from time to time, it creates a gap between who we’d like to believe we are, and reality. That gap, even when we’d like to tell ourselves “it doesn’t matter!”, is disconcerting. Before we can pretend to ignore something, we must first accept that it exists.

There are not too many ways to close that gap. We can either change our perception of ourselves, or change reality, or a little bit of both.

Looking to that child of the past for guidance might help. Children possess the innocence necessary to provide unrelenting constructive criticism.

We might not like the final verdict, but at least it comes from someone we hopefully respect and admire, ourselves. Such analysis has one additional thing in its favour…

It’s the most private of feedback, we do with it what we will. Only our trusting child will know we’re lying.

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The true opposite of Love
is not hate
but indifference.
Joseph Fletcher

Love in all its degrees and variations, is the glue holding us together. From the passion inciting two people to become one, to the caring that compels us to lay down our lives for others, Love is what binds both the world and us.

Hate is a twisted passion, and yet like Love brings us into contact with each other. To hate me, you are forced by your passion to recognize my existence. In that fierce acknowledgement sleeps the dim hope we might acquire mutual appreciation… if not respect… perhaps even understanding.

Indifference ignores all ties. Like the stark vacuum of space, it supports no warmth. It separates us permanently from others and permits no means of access. The targets of our indifference vanish from the world as surely as if they never were. Indifference is the ultimate destroyer.

The cure for indifference is forced contact, it leads us into recognition. Once recognition takes hold, it demands an act of self deception to regain the isolation of apathy.

To deny what is, is the same as destroying what could be.

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A hunch is creativity
trying to tell you something.
Frank Capra

Creativity is a difficult and contradictory task, because to achieve it we must stop trying to seize it… and just listen to the voices within.

This is gobbledygook to anyone who believes conscious thought will always result in a new idea.

Thinking yourself to creativity is possible. There are enough tips, tricks and techniques to get you to another place, but when they all fail… just shut up and listen.

The mind is forever babbling in the background. Try to sit silent, thoughtless, for a count of five. Allow no stray thought to enter, not even the glee at reaching five.

Try to sleep at night without dreaming. Try not to think of the elusive polka dotted elephant. The mind chortles at containment.

Leave the problem alone… walk away from it… abandon thinking about it, and do something else… but keep listening.

The very source of power in our thoughts, is to see what doesn’t yet exist. To see cats in the clouds, Orion’s Belt in the stars, or a solution where others saw only problems.

The little voice is the child within, forever trying to get our attention.

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