a zen buddhist monk's blog about things almost zen and telling it the way it is - zen or not (yet)

February 03, 2010

If ifs and ands...

Understanding people and why they do certain things is, I admit, not easy. Sometimes we think we've figured it out and then Bam! the world turns upside down and we're not sure anymore. If we put a positive bent on this, it might be to say that the unpredictability of people is what makes life so interesting! If! But, if ifs and ands were pots and pans there'd be no work for tinkers..right?

I've recently heard of a number of cases were the human behaviour demonstrated by work colleagues, has left me scratching my head. Did we, my contemporaries and I, behave this way when we were 25/30? Did our work colleagues scratch their heads at our Shenanigans? I hear myself, it's true, saying things in discussions with friends, and I hear my father! So, it must be a thing of generations and their differences no? But even if it were, because I'm still not fully convinced, is that an excuse? Why do we have to accept that "she does things that way" or "he's just like that" or " don't sweat it, all kids are like that these days". Ok! but WHY are they like that these days? Are we so wrapped up in ourselves and our 180cm-plasma worlds that we can't smell the roses anymore? And who the heck started this trend that you can't tell someone that they're not doing a good job? Good heavens people, where did your values disappear to? When did we lose the plot? There's no deadman's handle on this train!

It's much easier isn't it, to just lock ourselves up in our cocoons and do whatever possible to not allow the outside world in. To not rock the boat; make waves; waken the sleeping dog! We've become so distanced from our values that we can't see them anymore and have replaced them with lethargy and a cathartic numbness to what's happening around us. I'm always reminded of the story of the frog in a pan of water that is gradually heated...if you don't know it, it's worth a read.

Well, I'm sorry, I don't agree with this "never say no" attitude and I don't want to accept that "that's just the way it is"!

On our travels, we have experienced peoples and places that are so vastly diverse and culturally contradictory that we are in wonderment at the complexity of the human being. What makes one country and its people more respectful of elders than others for example? What is it that gives certain peoples the belief that they, and only they, have understood how things should be and that they are justified in punishing those who have not, for another? What indeed?!

I'm not going to bore you, and probably myself, with a list of what's "not right" with the world today; our polititians do that for us everytime they open their mouths, no, but I am going to say, that if you have similar feelings of frustration and forboding, there is a Shangri-La out there...


...and if you find it, would you be kind enough to let me know where it is?

 晴 雲 法 声 seiun hosei _/|\_