Thursday, August 24, 2006

Beyond Invisibility; Seeing Greatness

I believe human beings have 5 basic needs: (1) Water (2) Food (3) Protection from the Elements (4) A sense of purpose (5) Love. Without the first 3 our bodies ultimately break down. Without the last two our minds and spirits eventually break down.

Over millenia we have evolved all manner of ingenious means to satisfy the first three needs. It is only recently that we have started collectively waking up to our need for a sense of purpose and our need for love. And not a moment too soon: when individuals feel no purpose or feel cut off from love they have a huge impact on us all: crime, substance abuse, violence, war, fear, psychosomatic illness.

It IS our responsibility to be in support of other peoples need for a purpose and for love; by serving them, not only do we serve ourselves but we also serve the systems of interlinked communities to which we belong.

Every person we move into the vicinity of in life is a potential teacher. Everyone has the potential to catalyse the latent greatness in me into full expression.

Yet I am usually closed to this opportunity. "I got my own shit to deal with, so I'm not interested in yours.(!)"

I might believe that I have it all together, that I am the big man and that people do what I say. I might believe that I choose my time and my place for being a friend, being a boss, being a dad, and that I am open to new people only in a context of my choosing, for example "down the pub, meeting friends of a friend" or at a "networking event".

And yet, compartmentalising like that serves what purpose? What am I choosing? I might think I have control over my relationships or control over my life. I might believe that control will get me to what I want. That is a dilusion. I am choosing a closed down sort of life, where I am open to new experience some of the time - because I have a plan to stick to.

What am I missing? What's it going to take to be available to opportunity?

Openness. Being open to other people. It is like an invitation: "Open for business". Some people decide to spend time and connect; others do not. Some will, some won't; so what?

Openness is, however, not enough on it's own. Just to be open is like saying "It's not my responsibility", and expecting to do none of the work. The other attitude and practice that is required is to be positive; to actually choose to see the beauty and greatness in people.

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