Lately I have been thinking of link journalism and what it does to the news media industry. The growth of link sharing sites as del.ico.us, Twitter (yes, Twitter), Reddit, Digg, StumbleUpon and so forth has made the information snacking more pronounced than ever. We talk in 140 characters more than ever and it is damaging in so many ways. It has lead me to that link journalism is to the news media what file sharing was for music industry – the death to the old business model for the news media business.
Commitments. Hmm. The root of so many worries for people. The one who claim they are not are lying. They challenge us. They keep us grounded. They provide sanity checks. Yet. When do you let go of a commitment? I think this is many ways is the struggle between the heart and the brain. Or is it? Shouldn’t the heart and brain be the same? Or is the brain and heart, the Ying and Yang of the body keeping each of the parts sane in a complex dance of the quest for fulfillment, endorphins and happiness? Who knows. I guess that is the charm of life. You do not know.
Commitments and the relation to them show the character in people. They really do. Yet I do believe we tend to cling to them. I had a discussion some time back with some friends on commitments over a few glasses of wines. The crowd was pretty diverse as for ethnicity, race, religion and social economy. It was indeed a very interesting discussion. My main point during the discussion was: “You will only keep commitments your heart truly believes in.” it has taken me a lot of time to admit this to myself. If i believe in something, there is nothing I wouldn’t do for the sake of the commitment.
When you stop believing in something and you constantly have to justify it and your relation to the commitment, it is time to let go. The commitment is long gone, and it is hurting you more than it is helping you. Yet so many people choose to commit to the commitment. Clinging on to it. I, for long time in my life, tried to stay with commitments I had in my own “almighty” (note the irony) mind painted up as the true solutions of life. Hmm hubris for sure. :-) “These are the pillars by which I will live. I will never break these rules.” Hmm. Boy, did that bite me in the ass. All the time. I have learnt that when I say I will never do something, I immediately have to face that statement.
I do not know why we (including me) do cling to commitments. Maybe it is some false and weird safety. The usual. Stay with the known. Facing change is hard. Facing change and breath of fresh air in yourself is troubling to so many. It has been troubling to me. Probably still am to some extent. I would be lying if I wouldn’t say that. Yet I think I am growing up here. :-) A very dear friend some time ago asked me to do something. My answer was simply: “No, I will not because I do not believe in it.”
Commitments give us structure. We need structure. Yep, we do. I would say that commitments are creations of our brains, and will be used as guides on our road in life. Yet they are only the guides and milestones of our lives, but they do not make us up. They are not the path we should take. They as we will evolve and change over time. They are not everlasting commandments. Believing that is a lie to yourself and others, and I have seen too many people suffer due to the over belief in commitments. Out-dated commitments create a structure that doesn’t exists. It is not there, other than in our minds and probably more damaging than good.
Yet I do believe we should be guided by our heart as well as our brain, but we shouldn’t try to justify things that only part of us believe in. If we are not in it with our hearts, it is not true to us. It is not true to anyone else either. We should be driven by compassion for others as well as ourselves. Clinging to outdated commitments is far from compassionate to you, nor is it to others.
A friend of mine expressed it so well: “The heart is the brain because they are both on a path towards compassion for others.”
Imagine what the world would be with more compassion.
December 7th 1941. A day never to be forgotten. The military strike against Pearl Harbor that probably change the outcome of World War II as it resulted in the US to join forces against the axis of evil. It’s ironic, sad, funny and tragic how “small” or unrelated things and decisions will make a huge difference. The love affair between two men in ancient Greece created a war and legends never forgotten. The shot in Sarajevo started World War I. Small symbolic events started the massive erosion of the Soviet Union. We are yet to see what the effects of Mumbai will be, but I am in some way dreading them. The most scary example still is 9/11. The effects and impacts of those tragic events will last generations to come I am afraid. I still wonder if the outcome would have been different if things would have been different…
I know. It doesn’t matter. It is what it is. Burying ourselves in the past will not make a difference. Today this world needs people with dedication, passion and hope that the future will be woven by understanding, collaboration and peace. Now the ultimate irony. We cannot today decide what the future will be. It will be what it will be. We but only can live our lives in the present in the way we would like the future to be.
Our lives are built up by a series of decisions. Interacting. Entangled with others. Taken in a flash of a moment. The difference is just so small. We need to start paying attention to that. “Even enemies can show each other respect…” I think it is time for us all to start showing sincere respect for our “enemies” and anyone else we have disagreements with.
This weekend I went to the Green Gulch Farm in the mountains north of San Francisco. It is a Zen Buddhistic temple as well as an organic farm. I from time to time go there. It is an amazing ride over there, and a very peaceful place to be in. During the summers we go to the beach right after. It feels like childhood being at our country house in the summers. It also brings back memories from when I got confirmed and we went to a mediation center. (Imagine being thirteen years old ad having to be quite for two days. It was a challenge for sure.) Every time I am up at the Green Gulch I end up feeling like a little boy playing in the grass in the country during the summers, or eating cheese sandwiches and drinking O’Boy under the apple trees listening to sound of nature and horses. Showering with the cold, cold water from the spring. Or building Indian cottages in the forest near the house.
This Sunday, it was this amazing morning with the sun shining and the air was clear. It is something about early Sunday mornings. They are peaceful. The best part of the whole day was to sit on a bench after the meditation and lesson, sipping a nice Earl Grey tea with honey and milk in the sunlight. The company was amazing. The weather was amazing. The surrounding nature was incredible. Sometimes you would like time to just stop… Halt. Sometimes twenty minutes in the sun listening to the nature and enjoying the company is just timeless and priceless.
Life is incredibly good those days. You wish you could stay in that environment forever.