Take it easy...but how exactly?

  • Although I am not a Buddhist, I can "relate" to many aspects of Buddhist philosophy and practice. One point that seems to keep coming back in my thoughts is "lovingkindness". It's closely related to compassion, and may be familiar to many people from the Plato quote: "Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." The post on Brave Girls Club illustrates this so well. Melody reminds us very movingly how we can't see what's going in another person's life just by looking at them. It makes me think of the times I've actually wanted to put a sign on my desk, saying, "Can't you recognize that I'm doing the best I can?" Or one saying, "Can't you see how much your behavior is hurting me? Don't you care?" Of course, we won't make those signs. But we could, in a different way: by somehow making known what we would like to put on the signs. It takes courage to say that someone is being hurtful. And there's no guarantee that saying it will solve the problem (says one who knows). I'm always looking for some kind of balance between different ways of "protecting" myself, on the one hand making sure I'm not too hardened, on the other hand being hard enough to say "NO!" when something goes too far. Trying to gauge when I should give a sign and when it would be better not to. And trying to learn that the consequences are not predictable, and that I'm not always responsible for someone else's reaction. It's definitely not easy, all this interpersonal stuff. But the other end of the spectrum is loneliness, being cut off, wasting our possibilities. Meeting others in openness can bring big rewards to those who dare to try it.
  • And now for something completely different...I've made my own pumpkin puree! Tomorrow morning the pie. Man has never had it, so I'm curious what he'll think. Me, I love the stuff. And I read somewhere you can put maple whipped cream on it; how amazing would that taste?

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