The choice to learn a lesson...
Hello everyone and anyone who got this far!
Over the past few weeks I have been engaged in producing a video for my final folio in my Bachelor of Photography. It will bring to an end 5 years of school.
It also is tying in perfectly with my life and journey of self.
The video is about my search for some balance in this world. I am creating it to fulfil my desires as much as any need for school assessment, and is just the beginning on a new path for me. I used to tell stories in song, still do a bit but I also love to be able to tell a story in with an image or in this case a video with stills and movie, as well as a killer soundtrack by my good friend Ganga Giri.
In doing this video, I also have had conversations with 2 people who are very dear to me, Damian Lannigan and Sifu Dana Wong.
Both of these people are walking the path of their own truth. Both of them treat themselves and others with kindness and compassion. They are conscious beings.
In both conversations we discussed all manner of things to do with the system we live in, the way it conforms people to be robotic, "a perfect citizen" who plays by the boundaries set out in the ideal of the system we are born into. I asked if they thought geographic location plays a part in ones development of self, a nurturing of self consciousness. The thing right now I see from these conversations and my own thoughts is just that, we are guided from birth to fit into the ideal, given the illusion of choice (cars, clothes, whatever). How the individual chooses to respond to their own circumstances is up to them, we are limited by the situations that we find ourselves in, but we are not limited in the way we deal or respond to them, and there I feel is a great opportunity for everyone. In my conversation with my Sifu he expressed his feeling in that the system we live in is geared towards the opposite of growth, it forms you into the robots that will fit the mould. It is the antithesis of self enlightenment.
So, how do we find that balance? Is there a balance at all? I can only tell you how I do it, I cannot do that for you, but my journey may help others.
I have an example of mine that I am right in the middle of. It is seemingly a small matter that I could dismiss instantly, but I am choosing not to as I think there is something here, the timing is immaculate.
I put up some business cards in an empty space at the supermarket in Ocean Grove yesterday. It was one of those card holders along side a large notice board. there were cards in the holder on the right, empty on the left. All good. This morning, literally moments after speaking to Sifu I received a text message, accusing me of throwing away someone else's business cards to make room for my own. This i most certainly did not do, it is not the way I act. When I spoke to the person he was feeling aggrieved, and he would not believe me that I had not removed and thrown away his cards as he had only put his there the day before. How is it possible that 10 cards could vanish overnight only to have mine sitting in their place? This i cannot answer, perhaps there were 10 people who wanted his card! At first I felt anger as I was being unjustly accused and sent a follow up text saying so, as he had hung up on me. I could feel, and still can now feel the fight or flight response building in my system. Very quickly however, I realised that this could be a lesson for me. I sent a 2nd text to say we could meet and discuss this, and anything else that comes up. Why bother? I did ask myself that question. The reason I would bother to meet and talk to this person is that he has immediately judged an action and pinned it to me, therefore judging me as a person without ever having met me. His cards were gone, mine were there. Simple It must have been me that removed his cards.. So often we do this, we are conditioned to judge. Judgement has its own uses for sure, like deciding whether a shark in the surf is a threat; if there is a large shark there I would judge that it I am in immediate danger. Get out of the water. Pretty useful thing to be able to assess. But judgement of others for things you think they may have done? I think this negative behaviour is a symptom of the ills of the system and society we inhabit. So many people will lie, steal, and basically live their lives in a selfish manner as the system has taught them to be. Everyone talks about love and kindness to children, and bullying in schools, but so many people do not live this. Bullying is rife in adult life. Why I wonder? When we tell our children not to lie or steal, be honest, all the while acting in a completely opposite manner towards our fellow human beings we are being hypocrites. I think that the selling of the Australian Dream is a lie, it ties us to debt, keeps you working to buy the items we "need" to survive. it creates an environment of competition and fear. Why do we have so much hatred in the world? Same reasons. Judgment based on fear or misunderstanding. Judgement placed on as in this particular instance, value. Do I value myself over any one else ? Are my business cards more important than anyone else's? No and no. I believe we are all equal. I believe we should work together to nurture real truth, not assumptions based on fear or negative judgement. I ask myself why I judge others? I had done so until a realisation and clear understanding of how very wrong it was to judge. I cannot say what any situation does for anyone else, that is theirs alone. For me right now, I am seeing the world with a new compassion, learning how powerful it is to accept the things in my life, take on the lessons given and learn from them whether they be difficult or not. There is no good or bad lesson. They are all equally opportunities for us to learn. It may be a seemingly very negative lesson to learn, but if you can extract the lesson, then you will learn from it. It is not good or bad, it just is.
So, back to the business cards. What to do with this situation? I could have let it drop, I could have told this person to go take a long walk off a short pier. Neither of those responses appeals to me, so i have set up to meet this person and have a chat. Why? No doubt we will discuss the actual situation and there is a drive to clear my name, but i think that there is a bigger picture here. I am right now exploring the topic that looks at both the greatness of our world and the ills of society and I have this situation literally handed to me! I will go and meet this person. I have no idea where it may lead. I would like for him to see that not everyone is caught up in the small mindedness that pervades our society, maybe that will help him in some way. I really can't say, it is his choice to learn from this situation, or not. My lesson? haven't quite worked it out yet. I did nothing wrong. Perhaps I should have just let it go, but I don't like having any situation in my life where I feel that there is a problem, especially in a small community. I have lived here for over 12 years now and only in the last year have lessons such as this been coming up. They create a tension that is not pleasant. I would like to deal with that. So I go perhaps for selfish reasons after all! Haha! ah the irony.
I do not have the answers, Im only just beginning to work it out for myself. Hopefully what ever comes of this current situation it can be of some use. I keep thinking "it could be good" but then I think, good for who? me? the other person? Both? Neither? Good or bad is judgement. I will go and meet with this person and we shall see what happens.
Peace and love.
PS. The meeting never eventuated as the man in question never got back to me "after work" as he said he would. So, I do not know what conclusion he arrived at. No point in even guessing really. For me, it was good to be honest, speak my truth even when not believed. I tried to sort it out, and am happy that I stood up for myself and didnt get angry or start with the blame etc. If the other party is not ready to accept/hear the lesson, that is their journey, not mine. :)
Keywords: questions, anger, fear, love, meaning, balance, lessons, modern life, pressure, conformity, system, acceptance, truth
Beautifully & honestly written Tim I think a dilemna that we all have "fitting in" or exactly where do we fit in? I applaud you for setting up a meeting with him I hope that whatever comes from your meeting enriches both of you, human nature is a strange thing. I'm a cynic but I'm also a person who trusts all too easily and have been dudded a few times and probably will a few more too but I still basically believe that somewhere inside all of us is good and bad we just need to keep up the self examination. Every time I go to a funeral I listen to the eulogy and wonder what might be said about the person who is there no longer, it's amazing often what you learn about somebody after they're gone. It makes me realize that we're only here for a short time and to do just the best that we can. I've learnt a lot about my self from being in class with you guys and feel quite humble in the company of an incredibly diverse group, I've really enjoyed the intellect and passion of everybody, all different but all with their own way of going through the world, thanks for your blog I never intended such a long comment see you on 17th
I love your work Tim, keep attentive, all is being revealed.
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