Tag Archives: turbulence

Learning as a way of being

“A man’s life is interesting primarily when he had failed, for it’s a sign that he tried to surpass himself.” — Georges Clemenceau

This brief piece of text is excerpted from “Learning as a way of being” by Peter Vaill, the quoted section is part of another book written by Chittister called “Wisdom distilled from the Daily”, pg. 24, The Rule of St. Benedict,

“Benedict teaches life is a learning process. Western culture and its emphasis on academic degrees, however, has almost smothered this truth. We have made the words ‘graduation’ and ‘education’ almost synonymous. We measure achievement in academic credits. We discount experience, depth, and failure. We believe in action and results and products and profits and youth, so we come to regard the elderly as essentially useless.

But in the end, all of that kind of achievement is nothing but a spiritual wasteland if along the way we have not attached ourselves to the discovery of truth, the cultivation of beauty, and the recognition of the real learnings in life.”

If you believe that things are passing you by perhaps it is time to slow down and reflect on the beauty that surrounds you. Action, results, products and profits are seen as the currency of value when in reality the currency is truth, beauty and joy. Which do you pursue with the most fervor?

Value significance – value your significance in a turbulent world.

Take away

“Life is its own journey, presupposes its own change and movement, and one tries to arrest them, at one’s eternal peril.” Vaclav Havel from “Venture to the Interior”

We live in a space, a space that is filled with great hope and in some cases great despair. Despair is an anchor that prevents change. In some places in our lives we need an anchor; in turbulent waters we need an anchor until the rush of water subsides. In this case, the case where the anchor is despair we want to pick it up so that it doesn’t hold us back.

Let’s call the anchor a “take away”. The anchor takes away from our ability to be agile and to react to situations quickly and adroitly. We all have things that hold us back, little anchors, and little pockets of despair. Identify those things that are holding you back today. What are they?

As we pick up each anchor we can start to sense movement, positive movement along a corridor of our choosing. We can walk down a path towards greater hope, greater freedom and greater happiness.

What anchors are holding you back? Are you aware of those anchors? Are you willing to pick them up or let them go?