The Unmistakeable Cure

26 June 2011, San Jose, CA – The Almost Daily Binx

It was impossible to clear my mind enough to understand another paragraph of the voluminous non-fiction I was reading. I was left to power-down my Kindle and power-up my laptop, for there was something on my mind that was not accessible any other way.

Ah, there you are, elusive thought, bugging me so persistently; causing me to re-read pages two and three times.  Have out with it, lest you be committed to a watery death with thousands of other unrequited thoughts, diving to their certain demise into the drain of my morning shower.

The thought has occurred to me on many occasions and I finally realized the trigger – disagreement.  Perhaps, not actually disagreement, as much as the manner in which people disagree.  I’ve become both spoiled and intolerant.  Spoiled, that is to say, by the wonderful friends and business colleagues I’m fortunate to have.  Those that put community before self-indulgence.  Good souls that are mindful and deliberate about good health. And, incredible individuals that listen as well as talk in conversations. Intolerant of those, whose preoccupation with self-indulgence and hyperbole, is as harmful to the environment as excess carbon.

It dawned on me that we friends disagree occasionally, but we never argue.  There is no eye-rolling and there is a most emancipating absence of sarcasm – unless dutifully recruited for a laugh (and there is much laughter.)  We’re bound together by a mission of improving the living condition in our community and engaged in business that is more than a pay-check. There are many of us and I purposely dull the line between my volunteer work and my career work – because from a fundamental perspective – I’m fortunate enough to now, approach them both the same way.

Everyday I learn something new. The process is so natural, preemptive disagreement is an event.  What’s there to disagree about?  Well perhaps, disagree is too harsh a term; maybe it is best expressed by saying sometimes we see things differently.  So, I’ll reserve the word ‘disagree’ for an exceptional moment or two that are certain to arise when humans of any sort are involved.  I guess what I’m trying to say is that we interact with each other in such a way that our egos are defeated by logic and by purpose.  We say things intentionally; we do things intentionally and we avoid bad behavior, intentionally.

By now this must sound very childish and naive.  That is perhaps the most amazing reality of the thought that has been poking me endlessly for weeks, interrupting my reading and distracting me from perfectly fine day-dreams.  I’m a happy child. Yes, a happy child, most of time anyway.   Even at work, where we openly engage in preserving childhood; interacting with partners and colleagues, unrestricted with the behavior modification we call adulthood, the creative juices flow, mistakes are easily admitted and corrected and we manage risks by learning about them and discussing them – not merely avoiding them.  We support each other.

So …  I came to an understanding.  It’s the gift of a rejuvenated childhood I wish for everyone. It’s what stops harsh words.  It’s what inspires curiosity.  It’s where faith is indelible  but not particularly explainable, and  it is where hope is manufactured.  Perhaps it’s even childish and naive to think that my writing this missive or wishing these thoughts are useful in any way whatsoever – but I’m very hopeful that it can’t hurt because it’s an unmistakable cure.