I read this wonderful piece written by JOSHUA BECKER. https://www.becomingminimalist.com/there-are-better-things-to-talk-about-than-others/
And then this quote came to my attention; “Judgment is but a mirror reflecting the insecurities of the person who’s doing the judging.” (Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus https://www.google.fr/amp/www.theminimalists.com/irony/amp/).
Judging is so human. I remember senour ladies on the bench in front of their houses in my childhood neighbourhood. Passing judgments was their fave pastime. Seeing them now makes me want to bring them mirrors :). I know, it’s kind of mean.
Judging is a choice – thought of the week for me.
– How old is she? i was often asked about my kid while strolling and playing in the park.
– Why? i would ask. The faces of inquires would get usually very puzzled.
– Hmm, to compare her with my daughter/niece/cousin’s kid…, would be usually mumbled in response.
– Do they need your comparison? would be my usual good-buy.
At school, my best friend’s mom would use two rulers to follow the marks on her daughter and my rows in the teachers notebook. I can only imagine the talks they had at home. As a result, our friendship suffered. My now ex friend has a PhD and i hope she did it for her professional fulfillment.
Comparison leads to wanting more, consuming more, spending time and effort on others ideals. We rarely spend time and effort on comparing where we are now to where we started from and analysing how much we achieved.
“Comparison is the thief of joy” said Theodore Roosevelt. I realise we cannot escape comparison fully though. Social media and glamorizing TV do not help with endless status updates, instagrams, tweets and alike. We see the surface and our brains make conclusions. It often does so from perceived weaknesses on our end.
I was raised in soviet union and even that “egalitarian” regime had a built-in competition. “Better”, “faster”, “more” were teachers and trainers favourites. In my grandmother’s village there was a competition for fastest growing trees. How can you make trees grow faster? They grow depending on their roots and need for light. They do not grow to compete with the neighboring forest.
I missed many joyful moments in life because of comparison, imposed or self-imposed. I also learned that Comparison can still be a friend when applied with care and in line with own intrinsic philosophy, values and aspirations.
I care now to make sure my kid learns to apply comparison when it benefits her growth. And it also helps me grow. The same way a tree does 🙂
This piece is sharp as a scalpel. The type of writing to which i secretly aspire to.
Thank you, Jordan Reid, for the inspiration.
“Being a parent is different from being a friend, and it’s different from being a boss. You want to be both, but the truth is that you’re neither — you’re something in between, and something much more.”
The other day, I had an exchange with a colleague about a work related issue. Each of us brought arguments and it was a normal exchange, from my point of view. The second day, my colleague approached me when we crossed in the cafeteria excusing herself for being too direct.
“I need to stop being that direct”, she said. “I felt bad after our discussion yesterday”.
“It was a work conversation and I appreciate your arguments. You can be yourself with me and there are no hard feelings”, I responded. “Look into my eyes”. And she looked.
And she saw it in my eyes: an acceptance of the way she argues and that I look beyond a five minute argument to value her as a colleague, as a human who has a point. I walked into her shoes (doing a similar job some time ago). So it helped to understand her perspective. There is probably a connection between walking and seeing…
The video below is done by Amnesty Poland in an attempt to bring humanity back into perspective in the discussions on refugees. Leaving the politics and the related debates aside, this video made me think that we are all refugees to some extent. We all flee from time to time, consciously and unconsciously, mentally or physically, from hurdles or love, to what we think of as a better place or space…
Looking into eachother eyes is costless and priceless at the same time. It may not change the World, but it may change someone’s world.
Le Glezio’s phrase “Now the photogrher’s kitchenette is full of boxes of gunower tea and jasmin tea and little bundles of mint” in “Desert” triggered a memory.
I was having breakfast in one of the locally branded cafes in an airport in the easterm part of this double-baptised continent. A vegetables omlette, a fresh orange juice and an espresso.
A lady asked if the seat vis-a-vis mine is free. Her grey well done hair was nimb like. The light of her spirit made her face look wrinkless. She was above eighty or maybe seventy or sixty? It did not realy matter. Her softness and kindness was just transcendent, translucent and ageless. She looked briefly at the menu and ordered a mint tea. The waiter respectfully obliged and returned within minutes. She seemed content.
I finished my breakfast in her quiet company. Her gestures made it clear that no talk will be imposed from either sides. I did not want to spoil the mint translucence either.
As my boarding time was announced, I went to the waiter to pay for my breakfast and asked him to include the lady’s mint tea on my bill. He was surprised yet managed it quickly with a humble accomplice smile. His smile had the mint flavour without him knowing it.
I returned for my things and wished the beautiful lady a nice day. She responded with a quiet mint smile. I stored it in my memory box in the department of “beauty is all around us” with the mint color label of “all we need is to see and feel it”.
On my birth day, I opened my big smart eyes in a soviet hospital. Grey walls, grey faces…other grey stuff. I was not impressed.
This year’s birthday had it all:
the to-tears-joy of saying “Good Morning, Sun” for gratitude,
the “Happy Birthday” song early morning by my dearest ones for love;
the mountain view to the right, sea view to the left , both reigned by the blue sky for harmony,
fitness with a handsome Italian fitness trainer right on the beach for fun,
water games with my kid for the love of childhood,
the 60cent perfect cake from the pasticceria at the corner to blow a candle for yet another great year,
a Proseco, courtesy of the hotel, at the perfect temperature for legerity,
the hug of the warm sea and the kiss of the golden sun for nature’s love,
the totally forgotten gadgets and ignored social media for the power of mindfulness,
the intense lover’s kiss for the power of lasting attraction,
the intense afternoon rain for prosperity,
the patient dress which waited to be worn on this special day for elegance,
fireworks under the growing moon for colorfulness and life’s generosity,
numerous birthday wishes from friends to cherrish.
My greatest gift this year was the reinstated awareness and it’s best companion – the feeling of gratitude. And the swim suit which still fits 😉