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Archive for the ‘Trust’ Category

Laws alone cannot secure freedom of expression;
in order that every man present his views without penalty
there must be a spirit of tolerance in the entire population.
Albert Einstein

I’m not like you. We come from different places, we tell different stories, our humour is different, as is our spelling. We don’t look the same, smell the same, believe the same things or even eat the same meals. We’re different. Now what?

That question never goes away. The above litany is always true. It’s true, no matter who we are, where we live or who we work/play with. It’s true, regardless who we compare ourselves to. We’re different. So?

The differences in skin colour, looks, interests, wealth, intelligence, politics and religion, and so on and so on… ad nauseam, are easily used to build barriers. Anyone can do it. No education or skill required. The more ignorance, the better. Obstacles and barriers, chasms and canyons, created while we wait in growing fear.

To revel in diversity requires effort. The recipe is simple. Take one part education and mix thoroughly  with another part humour. Simmer slowly, don’t allow to boil… and tolerance rises.

When confronted face to face, if we blink… we lose, when we wink… we win.

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The fleas were appalling,
but the honour was great.
Laurie R. King

We demonstrate our respect and gratitude in a variety of ways, from a simple phrase of thanks, to elaborate gifts and celebrations. Our depth of respect and personal resources, determines the quality of our gift.

In turn, we accept gifts and honours with a critical eye, weighing each in turn against personal and private measures. The honour we feel we’ve been bestowed, is determined by our hidden valuations.

Which is the greater honour? To be invited out to dinner, or to be invited into a home to eat? The answers will vary according to taste…

The question is not… where would you rather eat? Or even… which serves the better meal? The question is… Which, according to the giver, bestows the greater honour?

To feel slighted, when only honour was intended, is tragedy masquerading as comedy.

What greater social error can we make, than to misjudge those who do us honour? The gifted bottle of wine, regardless of the vintage, is still a gift. The surprise party, still a gathering of friends. And the public embarrassing praise, still praise.

Sometimes sincere intent is the reality, and uncompromising perception, the problem.

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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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What makes enemies of people,
if not the eagerness,
the passion for the same thing.
Bernard Berenson

We are drawn asunder and pulled together by the things we both hold dear. Peace and security, a land to live upon and to rest in peace beneath, these are our common hopes and dreams.

We’re divided by memories of injustices long past. In sacred remembrance we create new memorials to fuel the future feud of children aged before their time. A plague of amnesia would allow us to start afresh. A divine gift of tabula rasa for those as yet unborn.

Our justice is swift for we live in the land of the fair. We demand an eye for an eye, until we crawl on all fours in the land of the blind.

We rightfully give praise to those who fall in the clash of arms, yet the solutions must lie beyond the battle circle. When we no longer care who lives or dies, then death can no longer threaten the living.

Conflict can reach the point where the solution is either genocide or compromise. Civilized thought enables one and denies the other.

The lands we fight over are more pleasant if stood upon, than lain beneath.

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My father considered a walk
among the mountains
as the equivalent of churchgoing.
Aldous Huxley

Our concerns pale under the gaze of silent crags. It’s not the height of the towering stones, but their permanence that sits in silent judgment. Nature never makes us feel small, it can only make us aware of who we are.

Much of our life is based on the reflections others have of us. Alone in the mountains those reflections are stripped to the honesty of echoes.

Sans judgment or interpretations, we hear back only what we project. If we speak falsehoods, we hear them back and cringe.

Why walk wrapped in ego or pretense when even the issues of life and death fail to impress what was there before, and will remain long after?

When the peaks are unimpressed by the disguises we wear before others, we revert, in defense, to our inner truths.

The indifference of Nature sentences us to a peculiar form of solitary confinement. We realize then, the company we keep is of our own design and choosing.

It’s impossible to hide behind a mask in solitude.

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I give myself, sometimes,
admirable advice,
but I am incapable of taking it.
Mary Wortley Montagu

The further recipients are removed from the givers of advice, the more likely they’ll pay attention.

We never listen to our own advice. If we were that smart, we wouldn’t need advice in the first place. Besides, what we thought was the right thing to do us into this mess in the first place.

We seldom listen to the well intentioned advice from Mom, Dad, spouses or loved ones. Their perception is always clouded by their desire to protect us from ourselves. They’d like to remake us in their image and listening to them would place us under their control. We can’t have that, so we ignore them.

We sometimes listen to the associates we work with. Being close to us only on a daily basis, they must understand us better than those who live with us. Or so we think.

We always listen to the strangers we meet while waiting for the bus, or while in line for the afternoon coffee. Strangers have no vested interest in our adherence to their words of wisdom. Besides, they have no reason to lead us astray.

We’re irrational. We act as if being further from the problem, means the person is closer to our solution.

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