“No kind action ever stops with itself. One kind action leads to
another. Good example is followed. A single act of kindness throws out
roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees. The
greatest work that kindness does to others is that it makes them kind
themselves.” ~ Amelia Earhart
Who are the people you pull close to yourself in times of good and challenge? Who do you tend to look out for and want to help if you can? Who do you find easy to trust and care about? To work with? Some people talk of having a tribe as a means for moving ahead in ones career, to develop a tribe made up of those folks who help us, open doors of opportunity for us, and have our back and vice versa. An article covering tips for life and work, posited that excelling at work and life aren’t about merit, but actually the tribe mentality. The author claimed men better understood than women that merit and fairness don’t really matter or factor into someone getting a raise or promotion etc. If you are part of a tribe that looks out for you and vice versa, that is how many people succeed.
Is that a tribe in the Whitehouse? If a leader trusts his tribe, like his family, then naturally he would bring them along with him and together they have that belief, history and practice.
Whose your tribe? Or do you believe that doing good work, meeting deadlines, coming within budget alone, that merit will matter? Meritocracy is a myth according to some people. It makes sense that having people to function as a tribe of sorts, can lift everyone. Is that what we see in fraternities, government parties, families that run organizations and countries? When is a tribe healthy and unhealthy? Loyalty is good but could blind loyalty get in the way of one’s own inner compass and values if you had to ignore how you felt in order to go along with the tribe?
A supportive tribe, with healthy opportunity for dissent and problem-solving sounds ideal. And working together to bring the tribe along, using all the various gifts, talents and experience for the greater good is something worth supporting. If the tribe is open, curious and welcoming to new members, then perhaps within that model merit also would have its’ place, and would matter.
For those of us who have lived in many places over our lifetime, a young friend leaving for university, gave me this quote she found online:
“You will never be completely at home again, because part of your heart will always be elsewhere. That is the price you pay for the richness of loving and knowing people in more than one place.” – girlgi.com
We both found comfort in it, as between us, we do have friends and family all over the world. Often we look at those who still live in the same town where they were born, are deliciously happy and wonder why are we thousands of miles away from our beginnings? Yet our choices make us who we are, and there is a richness in loving and knowing people in one place, or in more than one place. Savor what is.
During World War I, there was a soldiers’ truce over Christmas, and opposing armies got out of their trenches to share food and wine. Times were civilized, acknowledging one another’s humanity in the face of atrocity, meaning having to kill another human you might call friend in times of peace.
Below is a beautiful singing vignette highlighting this unusual break in war time during WWI. This video was sent to me today, Remembrance Day by my 95 year old mother in Canada. She has experienced more than me, and teaches me daily about aging deliciously. Thank you Mom.
Remembrance Day WWI Tribute
What is the comfort in sitting in front of a roaring fire? Fire is one of the basic elements along with water, that many of us enjoy being near. I’m sitting in front of a fire this cold afternoon right now. Ahhhhhhh.
Growing up we had a pretend cardboard fireplace for Santa when we lived in apartments. At 3 and 4 years old I believed Santa used that fireplace to visit us. My 9 year old brother obviously had to go along with it. It didn’t burn or work in any way. It just was a picture of a red brick fireplace and black mantel on cardboard, that folded it’s sides to stand up along a wall. It was cute and just a Christmas time decoration. Some executive was creative to think of that and my mother to buy it. I don’t recollect seeing one since.
When we moved into a real house, it had a real fireplace in the living room. Learning to build a fire and keep it stoked is an important lesson for all northerners. How to be patient, add enough paper, air and kindling to create a starter heat and flame before logs can be added. Patience is key. And the right draw of air and circulation going up the chimney. The art from of building a good working fireplace and chimney key. And now sitting in front of the fireplace to enjoy the crackle, heat, wood smell and orange flame is a reminder of simple home pleasures from the past through to this moment.
Have you found that sometimes words get in the way of understanding? Is that why we feel we understand our animals so well? No words come from them to us, yet we feel understood and connected?
With verbal humans sometimes it seems the best thing to do is to summarize what you think the other person said, and wait for him/her to agree or clarify. How many misunderstandings are because those involved have a slightly different meaning for or association to the words used? Checking for meaning when in discussion is one of the best lessons to learn as a means to reduce conflict, misunderstandings and misinterpretations.
Humans and conflict seem to go hand in hand. Misunderstandings or conflict are regular occurrences between and among humans, be it with a partner, neighbor, or country. It is how we approach conflict that determines the outcome. Are we threatened? Angry? Jealous? Curious? Confused? Surprised? Is our mind open or are we closed minded? Do we address it, listen, bully, attack, deny , bury it, or stuff it?
Many of us long for opportunities to talk through our different viewpoints, listen carefully to one another, consider, take time for reflection, and be curious to understand and be understood. That seems the true way to reach fresh and sustainable solutions to what we face.