Thursday, January 19, 2006

luck is one of my skills

--or rather I am lucky in my chosen profession to get to meet and chat with people of every background each day. I guess a taxi driver might run into as many or more - but then my acquaintances actually want to talk to me. ;?p

or so I hope.

My point (he actually has one?) is I get to learn about cultures and stories and share perspectives that I wouldn't ordinarily come across or even find through active searching. I just wouldn't think to Google them. Maybe I should press the random bounce button, but how much random stuff to sift through to find the gems?

Like that story from a colleague who escaped the killing fields of the Kmer Rouge.

Or yesterday when I got to chat with an Indian friend who educated me on the drama of the Cricket Test Match. And in between stories of Trobriand Islanders playing a cargo-cult version of cricket (complete with shamanic curses, play stoppage to find the homerun ball clobbered into the jungle, hometeam always victorious, banquet for the visitors...), we talked about a guy by the handle of Thich Nhat Hanh.

This septuagenarian monk espouses the idea that we must be actively aware of the life we are in. When you eat an apple. Really eat it. Stop thinking about everything else. Taste it. Savor it.

Even a lousy Red Delicious.

Oh course life isn't about apples. But the life lived perceived with awareness and thought is more worthwhile than the life we allow to just sweep us along, like a leaf on the wind.

I try to get my students to think more like that when they look to the future.

Are they gonna just sit back and wait for some external force to deliver them to happiness and prosperity, or are they going to make conscious decisions today to reach out make that life happen?

Occasionally I succeed.


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