The last few months have been a roller coaster. I've learned that not everyone is as self aware as I am, and that I have work to do on my own self awareness too. I'm seeing people fade into what seems like dementia and I've recently lost some friends which is causing me to deepen my ability to empathize as well as to listen and restrain my own assertions to those that help. I know that people can change, but don't always and they don't always want to and some are unable to see they are in their own way. I need to let that be. The serenity prayer comes to mind, but I haven't been reciting it as much I did growing up because another question came to mind. Why did we have this prayer on a beautiful plaque in our house in the first place? Did someone I know attend AA?
A little research led me to know that,
"God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
courage to change the things I can,
and wisdom to know the difference."
Used to be,
Father, give us courage to change what must be altered,
serenity to accept what cannot be helped,
and the insight to know the one from the other."
It was written by a man named Reinhold Niebuhr in the early 1930's and around 1955 was called the Serenity Prayer and found in AA publications and publications of other 12 step programs.
So, by now in reading this blog post you see how I am easily distracted and tend ruminate on my brain tangents.
In the end, I find the Serenity Prayer purposeful. And, of late, I have realized I need to work on my delivery of hard truths. I am an impatient person when it comes to people who I tutor in tech to do a few things: 1) talk over me when they need my help and I am giving instruction and 2) do not perform the correct order of operations after instruction has been given and exercises performed ... I tend to quit, leave, resign, roll my eyes, and laugh in pity. I would make a terrible Goddess at first thought: cruel and murderous. But then, I thought, if I were omnipotent I would rather infuse these humans with the abilities lacking thereby adhering to my true nature which is my desire to help others.
"Though it be honest, it is never good to bring bad news: give to a gracious message an host of tongues; but let ill tidings tell themselves when they be felt.” ~ Wm. Shakespeare, Anthony and Cleopatra
Of late, I've subscribed to a number of 'sober humor' IG accounts for various reasons and one repeated concept is that you cannot convince or coerce anyone to come around. It is only when that person chooses to on his or her own, will they find the discipline to make better choices... the best choices, some might say.
In the end, impatience is not really a good answer. Because I know I am capable of change, I am happy to change and am learning how.
Often I have found myself to feel the need to protect others as well. I am not a good person to complain to because then I want to fix it! Recently, a friend of mine was sorely being taken advantage of by a group of other people, but was so emotionally codependent and lacking self esteem to do anything about it. It seems to me my choices are: enable by sticking around and letting it happen in front of me, saying something although that would be super rude, or exiting that friendship.
What would you do?
Our world is so divided right now. I feel it a shame when people of the same values are unable to find a way to get along. Of course, I think it's a shame when people of differing values are unable to respect differences as well!
You know ... I never wanted to become an accountant. I was an anthropology major at first. Once I changed my major to medicine and physiology as well. And I studied coding and databases back in the day. I just couldn't make up my mind! I am so grateful to be able to have studied such a variety of subjects in college (and I'm sure they were happy to take my money too)! Part of my embracing my journey is identifying as an accountant - but I'm so much more than that it has always seemed limited. I have loved seeing all the creative titles millennial entrepreneurs have come up with for themselves. This age we live in does have many limitations, but it also affords such creative freedom. Seems a miss to not participate in all that.
I've always felt like education is they key, but am often defeated by the wall that is bureaucracy. For example, in one of my efforts to escape the label "accountant" I went to work in restaurants as a cook. As the cookery lover in me dictated. I was ecstatic about the composting regulation in Austin, but the kitchen workers (some of which don't speak English) did not feel the same way as I did and often would put their gloves and other plastics in the compost bin and would put vegetable stems and cuttings in the garbage. Finally, one of the Spanish speaking line cooks found me and asked "What is compost". We talked about the landfill problem both here and in Mexico. I had also just finished reading John Irving's Avenue of Mysteries - where the main character relives his childhood as un niño de la basura, "dump child". The man did not like the landfill issue in Mexico and was interested to know we have this problem here in the US as well. He never misused the compost bin (or put compost in the garbage) again.
How many conversations like this are lost I have to wonder. Do the Austin Resource Recovery workers and higher ups also feel the burden of the wall of bureaucracy?
And then the bigger questions that come up is, how many of us feel like our voices are lost in the multitudes? How can the good ideas get heard?
The smaller question is, Why is this home rule city not implementing a multilingual education plan along with the higher thinking regulations it is putting in place?
So, my patience is required on a daily basis as I walk my dogs and see plastic bags of garbage in the recycle bins and wire and plastic wrapped brush in compost bins. Laughing in pity just isn't as soul satisfying as I'd like it to be. Wallowing in frustration won't help either.
This is all part of my journey.
Existing in a primarily libertarian culture, we don't tell our neighbors how to live. And in turn they don't tell me. And, of course, I am seeing the limitations to this since having some sense of being a community collective would help create the positive changes en force. But, again, we are probably a group of individuals exactly because many of us are unwilling to follow as well as lead.
Food, compost, and patience for thought.
Embrace the journey - because when it's the end, it's the end!