Sunday, 28 October 2012

Us & Them ... Really

My kids and I were going through boxes of clutter this weekend to see what we could donate to the Sally Ann or just purge, and free up some space in the process. We did some sorting though too; to make sure we were not inadvertently disposing of something we wanted to or should keep -- like income tax receipts from 2009. :-)

During that effort, I came across the following hand written note; don't recall where it came from or what the original context was, and for all I know its a note for a speech given by the Dalai Lama. Regardless, I've seen a lot of "us & them" conflict, me-me-me, not my problem types of behavior and discussions as of late on-line, in the news, and elsewhere in multiple contexts. And the more I thought about it, the more this note seemed to apply to all of them whether it was a topic about implementing Agile strategies, coding versus testing work, leadership practices, or even some so-and-so on the news that didn't have enough forethought in his head to think "gee, I'm having un-diagnosed seizures (as reported by family members). Maybe I shouldn't drive!" The last example resulted in the death of an 11-yo girl. I agree; this is an extreme example. It's also a very good example of how serious the following applies. Thus, at the risk of being perceived as all philosophical and such hopefully this 'awakening' and 'it' noted below comes as some measure of serendipity the next time(s) any of us directly or indirectly experience those divisive rather than teaming behaviors.

Who are they? It's you, me, your family, friends; all of us. That is until we've experienced the awakening because its already happened, its about to happen to us, or some one we truly care about. For a lot of us, we awaken after it's happened and we struggle harder than we ever could have imagined. For some of us, we awaken while its happening and maybe there's a chance to stop it right there and then. For a few of us, we awaken before it happens and can stop it before it begins. The only question left is what are you doing to help awaken those who are still asleep, to help those who still have a chance to avoid or overcome the chaos.

Happy thoughts.


For me, 'awakening' in the above refers to the known awareness, the epiphanies we all have at one time or another that help shape who we are as people and members of a society. Things that stay with us for the rest of our lives even if we don't recall exactly why. 'It' can be anything we encounter or endure.