Don’t Wait [on Chicken Marsala Monday]

don'twait WITH EYES jpeg copy 2

We just bought chocolate covered almonds from Trader Joes. The kind with turbinado sugar and sea salt. We stood in the store and debated whether we should get them or not. We’ve been staying away from most things with sugar and neither of us has much fortitude in the face of a chocolate covered almond. We bought them.

On the way home we had a lengthy discussion about how many we could have at one sitting. Three seemed to be a puritanically reasonable number. Our reasoning was very complex and thorough. We felt absolutely superior when we arrived at our number.

At home we made coffee, set up our computers to work, and carefully portioned out six of the almonds and put them in a bowl. Three for Kerri. Three for me. We sat with our bowl to work and before taking the first sip of coffee, the bowl was empty.

“Are you sure we counted three?” I asked.

“We must have miscounted,” Kerri agreed.

if you'd like to see more CHICKEN... copyFour more almonds went into the bowl. I think. They were gone before I could double check that our count was accurate. So, we had to start over. Three and three. I’m certain we imagined the first three and since we arrived at such a specific number through such thorough reasoning, it seemed only right that we follow the rule. But, then, the bowl was empty.

“Wait. Are you sure we counted three? I asked.

“Hmmm. We must have done something wrong,” Kerri said.

read Kerri’s blog post about DON’T WAIT

www.kerrianddavid.com

 

don’t wait ©️ 2016 david robinson & kerri sherwood

 

Cooperate

714. Join me in inspiring truly powerful people. Each day I will add a new thought, story or idea to support your quest and mine.

During my drive from Champaign to Omaha, just after sunset, it began to snow. There was a swirling wind and in a matter of moments it was a white out. The road was mostly invisible. Cars immediately fell in line behind cars. Trucks slowed and set a careful pace. People cooperated without debate, without knowledge of the other drivers’ political affiliation, gender, race or sexual orientation. We needed each other. There was no power game or status imperative. All the silly illusions fell away. We needed each other and we did what came naturally. We cooperated.

There is a collision of two great thoughts that I appreciate. The first comes from my friend Roger, a director of plays and studier of humans; he once told me that denial was one of the strongest human impulses. The second thought comes for E.O. Wilson (I’ve rattled this off more than a few times) who said that the strongest human impulse is to belong. Combine the two thoughts and you get an amazing collision of impulses: a species called humans that need to belong to each other but deny it. This contradictory impulse makes possible The Gap or Old Navy; can you deny that you shop at a chain store to express your individuality as a way to belong? I can only imagine that the Martians are having a hey-day studying us.

And then the illusion drops, the second strongest impulse retreats and only the first remains. We need each other. We drive into a white out. The hurricane wipes our city off the map, the earthquake knocks our houses off their foundations. We pull together, put down our need to be right, and line up to help. We see our belonging. We see this thing called “”the common cause,” namely, survival.

The question, then, is obvious: do we need to wait until we’ve exhausted our fuel supply, depleted our aquifers, or warmed our globe before we suspend our denial and see this thing called “the common cause?” More and more contemporary science is finding that we have it all wrong: survival is not something achieved by the fittest; survival is a cooperative art.

Show Up

707. Join me in inspiring truly powerful people. Each day I will add a new thought, story or idea to support your quest and mine

“The one thing that you have that nobody else has is you. Your voice, your mind, your story, your vision. So write and draw and build and play and dance and live as only you can.” Neil Gaiman

The clichés are ubiquitous: fingerprints and snowflakes, each of us is unique in the universe. There will never be another like you and if you’ve ever looked through a telescope into the universe you will recognize how profound a recognition that is. The universe is vast and you are unique in it. You are vast.

The paradox of our uniqueness, of course, is that we want to fit in. As E.O. Wilson suggests, the strongest human impulse is to belong. The question becomes do you need to sacrifice something essential to fit into someone else’s idea or is bringing to life your unique perspective the very thing that will make you belong?

I recently heard a speech and the speaker was making a case for self-love. She spoke of the myriad of opposing opinions she’s heard and sometimes entertained about who she should be. Like most of us, she spent many years trying to conform herself to those conflicting ideas – other people’s ideas of who she should be. Aesop wrote a fable about that and the moral was clear: you will lose it all if you don’t listen to yourself. No one has the capacity to love you like yourself. When you come upon your idea of who and what you want to be, and strive for that, there is no conflict or sacrifice. You will fulfill it all when you listen to yourself. This, too, was the speaker’s conclusion.

To me, the shorthand is to orient your life according to what you bring to it and not according to what you get from it. Show up as you know yourself to be not as anyone expects you to be. Let yourself be seen as who you are: unique in all the universe.