Saturday, October 12, 2013

Winds Of Change

Affirmation:  I may not be right all the time but sometimes I have some really good ideas. 

Several years ago I took a work shop at Duke Integrative Medicine with Sarah Susanka.  It revolved around her book, The Not So Big Life.  Sarah is an architect who was one of the first people to present the concept of living in smaller, more efficient homes.  She encouraged people to use all their space and not to have a bigger footprint than necessary but not to give up those things that add to the quality of a home.  In fact, in her first book, The Not So Big House, she recommends adding special features to make small space even more inviting, like round windows and rich warm woods and moving walls.  I loved her first book and when our study group, The Seekers, were ready for a new study we chose her book about The Not So Big Life.  It took us a long time to go through it.  It is chocked full of self-discovery questions.  When the workshop presented itself, it seemed like a natural fit.  Two of us went for the weekend.  It was the worst run workshops and yet it was one of the most insightful workshops I ever attended.
Sarah had what appeared to be a very general outline.  There were about 50 people there and it was obvious from the start that her approach was to simply let the presentation evolve.  We never saw the book.  She never mentioned the book. 

There are guidelines for group events.  You can ask any therapist.  The first thing you do is assure everyone that they are safe in this group.  You do that by asking everyone to hold in confidence whatever is shared during the time together.  That wasn't done.  In fact, there wasn't one guideline mentioned.  It was never suggested that those who like to talk give some thought and space to those who are quieter.  It wasn't mentioned that a participant should only talk about their own experience and not lecture the group about their expertise. There were no guidelines whatsoever.  Well, there was sort of one.  Don't run away.  Go towards that which you want to go away from.  I was ready to leave after the first hour.  I also almost didn't return for the last day but I kept that one suggestion from her in my mind and hung in there.  It was good advice. 

At one point in the session a list was distributed.  You were to read the list and circle the comments you have ever said to yourself.  Comments like, "Boy, am I stupid" or "I am such a loser" or "I am so unattractive."  I'm sure you get the picture.  It was all the negatives things we sometimes say to ourselves.  It was very sad.  The list took up two columns on a full page.  I was doing pretty well with the self-talk list.  I hadn't circled anything when I came to, "I know how to do it" and "I'm right."  Well, yes!  I find myself saying that a lot.  What's wrong with that?  I mean I had just been thinking how maybe Sarah needed someone to help her run her workshops, someone like me who knew how to structure such an event. "I know how to do it."  Was that a problem?  How did that interfere with my life and my relationships?  Then the light went on. 

Who wants to be around someone who always thinks they know the best way?  Who wants to be around someone who is always right?  No one, that's who.  What I perceived as strength was also one of my greatest weaknesses.  It was an epiphany!  It was a personality shadow on which a light had just been shone. 

Now, I try harder to let people do it their way, not mine and not to judge it as right or wrong.  It's just different.  I try harder to listen to other people's concepts and ideas and once again accept that they aren't seeing things the way I do but that's ok too. But, sometimes I still look around and think I could help an organization or two run better than they are running, like the government.  So, when I received this hoax email recently I found myself agreeing with most of the suggestions presented.  If I ran the government, this is what I would want to see happen.  This seems right.  Well, it's my government so in a way I am responsible for its operation.  I am sad to admit that considering the terrible state it's presently in.  But, even though Warren Buffet never said what is written below, I support these ideas.  I'm sure they are right.  Our government needs to change and since I like to tell people how to improve their organizational skills, I am sharing this latest group of suggestions with my readers with the hope that maybe together we can help congress to finally get it right.

Warren Buffet is asking each addressee to forward this email to a minimum of twenty people on their address list; in turn ask each of those to do likewise. At least 20 if you can. It has to stop somewhere!

*Congressional Reform Act of 2013

1. No Tenure / No Pension. 

A  Congressman/woman collects a salary while in office and receives no pay when they're out of office.

2. Congress (past, present & future) participates in Social Security.

All funds in the Congressional retirement fund move to the Social Security

system immediately. All future funds flow into the Social Security system and Congress participates with the American people. It may not be used for any other purpose.

3. Congress can purchase their own retirement plan, just as all Americans do.

4. Congress will no longer vote themselves a pay raise. Congressional pay will rise by the lower of CPI or 3%.

5. Congress loses their current health care system and participates in the same health care system as the American people.

6. Congress must equally abide by all laws they impose on the American people.

7. All contracts with past and present Congressmen/women are void effective 12/31/13.

The American people did not make this contract with Congressmen/women.

Congressmen/women made all these contracts for themselves. Serving in Congress is an honor not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, so ours should serve their term(s), then go home and back to work.

If each person contacts a minimum of twenty people then it will only take

three days for most people (in the U.S. ) to receive the message.

Don't you think it's time?



What do you think?  I agree.  Do you think I'm right and I know how to do it?  Maybe it's OK once in a while to share what I think are some really good ideas.