Tag Archives: compassion

Taper Tantrum,

via Daily Prompt: Tantrum

rollercoaster.jpg

Graphic: clsinvest.com

Back in the 80s I took a minor in economics just for fun. Some people see economics as smoke and mirrors or star gazing at best. But I found it fascinating, it is a different logic, but it is a logic and it is a diverse as a field of practice, I think that’s what fascinated me.

Back in 2013 there was what economists call a taper tantrum. In the US as in some other economies, when there is a slowing of the economy and the risk is a crash (as per the graphic above) the Federal Reserve pumps money into the market to kick it along a bit (known in the trade as Quantitative Easing). In time spending cannot be sustained so the money must be slowed, and this is called Tapering, in short the money injection into the economy is tapered off rather than abruptly cut. The result in 2013 was what was referred to as an investor tantrum, an angry reaction to the tapering, hence, taper tantrum.

A tantrum about economics is akin to a tantrum about any other issue. When a child or adult has a tantrum it is because they have been slowed or thwarted in some way. One of my children once threw a tantrum in a supermarket because he couldn’t have something that was suddenly imperative. But the supply of money, and parental interest was tapered, and there was a predictable reaction.

The lessons we learned over the next couple of years are lessons we learned for life. Whether child or adult, a temper tantrum requires a particular response (other than ignoring it): empathy (acknowledging the emotions), listening, and resisting blaming. Not always, but often, you’ll get to the bottom of the tanrum, and in the least, you’ll maintain an open communication. Overall, you’re building a strong foundation of trust for the relationship. The principle of valuing the other, listening and holding the space for them to feel that they can trust you to hear their plight helps to diffuse the situation and bonds the relationship. One might taper the negative input, but love and compassion should be qualitatively and quantitatively increased.

I like what Thich Nhat Hanh said: “When you look deeply into your anger, you will see that the person you call your enemy is also suffering. As soon as you see that, the capacity for accepting and having compassion for them is there.”

He was speaking into a different context, but the principle is the same once you trade the word enemy for loved one, friend, colleague … love thy intemperate  neighbour.

the pressure I feel
my heart is drowning fast
ah, look, a warm smile

©Paul Cannon

Paul,

pvcann.com

12 Comments

Filed under Economics, Haiku, history, life, mindfulness, quote, self-development

Bestow Love

via Daily Prompt: Bestow

Sri_Ramana_Maharshi_-_Portrait_-_G._G_Welling_-_1948.jpg

Ramana Maharshi (1879 – 1950) was a Hindu sage, in fact a Jivanmukta, a liberated sage. Maharshi once said: “Unless one is happy, one cannot bestow happiness on others.” 

Maharshi is saying, obviously, that we can only give what we have within us. So if we carry anger, we share anger, if joy then joy, if hate then we share hate, but if love then love, and so on. We can’t give what we don’t have. Love doesn’t come from hate.

To be proactive, Rumi urges us to: “… bestow your love even on your enemies, if you touch their hearts what do you think will happen?” A purpose Jesus taught with his famous instruction to “Love one another”, including our enemies.

Rumi begs the question, what will happen if we do love our enemies? It’s simply rhetorical, the answer is clear, they will, over time, learn to love. I can see that example in so many people I have had the privilege of meeting and befriending, but also in those who have become known for their acts of selfless love – Martin Luther King Jnr., Mother Theresa, Rosa Parks, Ghandi, Malala, Maximillian Kolbe, Oscar Schindler, Bernadette Devlin, Mandella, Fred Hollows, or this guy:- Doc Hendley, who by his own description is but a humble bartender who had a vision to do something about water.

Hendley isn’t a sports star, or rock star, or movie star, just an ordinary guy bestowing clean water on those in dire need. While in reality he is also bestowing his love and compassion. He got angry hearing about the water crisis in the world, but he translated that anger into positive action (rather than reaction) and fifteen years on there’s a process for helping to provide clean water in the Sudan.

Doc Hendley is a great example to us, that we too, humble as we are, can bestow our love, our happiness, our joy, compassion … on others in meaningful ways. Where I live a local girl, Bella Burgmeister has become an author, motivational speaker, and project initiator, not bad for someone who is eleven. Bella has written on the impact of global warming in her book “Bella’s challenge” and she has iniated a project in our community by convincing city council to invest in thirty lockers for homeless people, a fantastic project. Bella has bestowed her passion and energy and love on our community for the benefit of all.

We can all do something, we can all bestow our love in some way, great or small.

Heartless is my world
my wallet is cold, empty
warm is my embrace

© Paul Cannon

Paul,

pvcann.com

 

25 Comments

Filed under history, life, meditation, mindfulness, poetry, quote, Spirituality

Chiron’s Parallel Process

via Daily Prompt: Parallel

IMG_0893.JPG

The sort of parallel lines that matter to me. I’ve long held a passion for railways, and as a child loved following train tracks, I still do. This photo was taken at Dwellingup, at Hotham Valley Tourist Railway.

There’s a lot of talk today in therapy and social work circles about parallel process. Carl Jung coined the term to explain that those who take up psychotherapy and counselling do so because they have faced pain in their own lives. Jung turned to Greek mythology to help define what he meant. He used the myth of Chiron.

Chiron (if you remember) was the child born by the union of kronus and the nymph Philyra. Kronos was out looking for his son Zeus and he encountered Philyra and lusted after her. Philyra was having none of it and changed into a mare in order to escape. But Kronos changes into a stallion and overtakes her. Kronos rapes Philyra and departs, the result of this union is Chiron, a centaur. Philyra rejects the child. So the child Chiron is abandoned by both his parents. But Apollo adopts Chiron. Apollo (god of music, poetry, healing) taught Chiron everything he knew, and Chiron became a mentor to many.

Chiron became friends with Hercules, which was unusual because Hercules was always fighting with the Centaurs. One day in a skirmish, Hercules accidentally wounds Chiron in the knee. The arrows Hercules had used caused a would that would never heal (they were dipped in the blood of Hydra), and for an immortal like Chiron, this was an eternal would, a would never to heal. Hercules and Chiron work out how to end it, Chiron must become a mortal and die, so Chiron does by trading places with Prometheus. In death Chiron was rewarded for his deeds with the constelation Centaurus.

Jung was referring to the pain of Chiron’s abandonment as leading him to be such a great and understanding mentor for so many. In a clinical sense the term refers to how there is sometiems a similarity betwen the client’s and the therapist’s situations. Because they are similar, thus parallel. Sometimes the therapist may not realise and sometimes the therapist may erroneously beleive that what worked for their situation should work for the client and they may risk becoming directive.

For the rest of us it may be helpful when we are simply sharing, to note what comes up for us, and like Chiron, to find ways of reaching out to those we know and love, and to find ways of compassionately journeying with them, reflectively listening, and holding the space for them to speak and unburden. There’s nothing greater than love, especially offering non-judgmental love, and being able to share doubts, anxieties, joys and hopes. People around us may be in similar experience or situation, and though it is never the same, and though we must never be directive, we can all be there for each other and hold the space knowing we need that too, and knowing we can, in the end be part of the healing process by sharing our stories with them. And we all have something to share. In that sense we are wounded healers, helping others and ourselves to find healing through our woundedness.

As Irving Yalom says: “We are fellow travellers in our pain and joy.” 

Paul,

pvcann.com

5 Comments

Filed under Country, history, life, mindfulness, Mythology, Trains

The Noise of Silence

via Daily Prompt: Noise

IMG_0086.jpg

Nightfall just south of Marla (South Australia) so peaceful, the silence is powerful.

I often think of noise differently. I often hope my silence is noisy, as a sense of presence, a calm, so that my silence shouts to the world – there is another way. I was once in a contemplative space and someone interrupted the silence some of us were enjoying, and I quipped, sarcastically, “Is my silence interrupting your noise?” Sometimes silence isn’t noisy enough to grab other people’s attention so that they can see it, feel it, and know it. There are times I hope it is an example, as we say of meditation, we hope our non-reactive silence is helpful and calming. Remember the old saying: “Actions speak louder than words.”

With the noise of deadlines, electronica, health issues, discord, celebrations, shopping centres, busy roads, bustling streets, the jarring noises of life can be debilitating, energy sapping. But silence is a worthy noise. Silence is a contempative stance, a space to claim against the heft of noise, and a place to rejuvenate. It is pleasant work, and it is work because you have to work hard to make the time for silence, and to stick at it. But is work that is deeply invested in your health, body, mind and soul.

And silence is the only space in which we can meaningfully hold ourselves and others with an ear to empathy and compassion. I personally find my reflective and contemplative practices increase my ability to empathise, and to compassionately engage with others. For me an investment in silence is the best noise to engage with.

Paul,

pvcann.com

25 Comments

Filed under life, meditation, mindfulness, nature, self-development, Spirituality

Steam Punk Costume

via Daily Prompt: Costume

Steampunk2.jpg

(Photo: i.pinimg.com Maria Berseneva Photography)

Steam Punk is a sub-genre of science fantasy/science fiction, but is more commonly referred to as speculative fiction. It combines 19th century art and design forms, clothing in particular, with elements of steam powered machinery, and other mechanics of that era. It is, in short, a design aesthetic. Steam Punk proposes an alternative 19th century history, and is therefore anachronistic,  often set in Victorian England or the “Wild West”of America. Its philosophy is a combination of Victorian industrial progress and the hope of the 19th century art and literature. There’s a slogan that is used in Steam Punk circles – “This is what the past would have looked like if the future had happened sooner.”

It has been used in film, ‘Cowboys and Aliens’, ‘Wild, Wild West’, ‘Van Helsing’, ‘Hellboy.’ There are elements in the historical episodes of Dr. Who, and in the literature of Jules Verne

As with Cyber Punk and Cosplay, the costumes are a matter of personal taste and design.

I love the creativity of those engaged with the costumery, it fires the imagination, and I can see its appeal. I could look at this stuff for hours.

But my Steam Punk wouldn’t be Steam Punk, nor would it be a romanticised version of some era, though it would be a combination of eras and hopes, and therefore framed idealistically. My alternative history would be based around eschewing violence, all violence, from sexual, to gender, to poltical, playground (not sure if there’s a difference there), domestic, class, environmental, and well, violence. I want to see creative costumes of compassion, respect, care, inclusion and integrity. I want industrial strength love of all kinds. I want costumes that shout justice and mercy.

Johnny it's Rotten
punked, but not forgotten
the blossom weeps
©Paul

Paul,

pvcann.com

 

17 Comments

Filed under art, community, history, life, Philosophy/Theology

Suspicious?

via Daily Prompt: Suspicious

Surveillance_video_cameras,_Gdynia.jpeg

One of Orwell’s famous lines in ‘1984’ “Big Brother is watching you” is the classic ‘art imitating life’ become life itself in a macabre twist.

Fear rules, and in several of our recent federal advertising campaigns, citizens were urged to report anything suspicious to the authorities. All aimed at refugee and imigrant groups, well let’s be honest, Muslims, and their behaviour, because you never know when they might try to enact a terrorist attack. Which reminds me – out of the eight supposedly terrorist incidents reported here in the media, three were found to have substance, and two tragically lead to death (notably, mental ilness was the significant factor and not religion or politics, and certainly not “terrorism”).

Minimizing crime and destruction is a good thing, but there will always be places where you can’t get a clear CCTV picture, or where the dots in an investigation can’t be joined. We have beome focussed on eradicating threat, and in essence we are really trying to nulify death itself, we are pop-insurance junkies. Yes, prevention is a positive ideal, but it isn’t a guarantee or a cure all.

My concern is that we are losing our focus. Feeding suspicion is divisive and destructive in its own way. We need to check our suspicion, what is the driving fear, the motive? Who is driving it? Who stands to gain?

Instead we need to build trust not division. Besides, a trusting community will be stronger than a suspicious community; it will develop an oppenness, a trust, respect and strong bonds, compassion and cooperation, and it will develop resiliance, so that when tragedy does occur, there is a strength to face it together, and not in fear.

Paul,

pvcann.com

 

10 Comments

Filed under community, life, Philosophy/Theology, politics

Born to be Mild

via Daily Prompt: Mild

IMG_0528.JPG

Well, back in the day, 1969, these were considered wild. The Norton Comando 750, fast, stylish, reliable. But by today’s standards, well they’re a bit mild really, superceded by more modern, sleek, more powerful bikes. This bike has aged gracefully. Generally as things, or beings age they mellow, well, hopefully they do, who can maintain the rage, the anger of youth? Compassion is a better way, it reuses the passion of anger with/alongside others for the better. Born to be mild.

Paul,

pvcann.com

3 Comments

Filed under life, motorbikes

Seeking Assylum: A Christo-Judaic View (or part one)

From a Christo-Judaic view the notion of refuge has been vital for justice and for the health of community. Internally, the people of ancient Israel were instructed (God through Moses) to designate six cities of refuge for those who had slain another person (Pentateuch – Numbers 35). If the slayer/murderer could make it to the city of designated refuge they were reprieved from the death penalty so long as they remained within the refuge city’s walls. it was latterly taught in rabbinical schools that any town run by the Levites was to be considered a town of refuge but only the designated towns could not refuse or revoke a refugee. So, although this was particular to Israel, it stands as a principal of compassion and for all people because Israel was originally to be the model for other peoples on how to live in the light and love of God.

And there is the imperative from Leviticus 19.33 – 34, that the people of Israel were to treat any alien in the land as if they were their own family. The end of verse 34 is particularly significant because it reminds the people of Israel that they too were once aliens in the land of Egypt. As with ironic and prophetic poignancy the Holy Family were also to find refuge in Egypt! (doubly ironic given the state of affairs of the modern Middle East!).

The missionary Don Richardson working in West Papua or Irian Jaya discovered that in that culture there was provision for cities of refuge.

In Islam the refugee is also cared for irrespective of religion or culture. The Prophet Muhammad found refuge among the people of Madinah, and there are many historical anecdotes and historical records of acts of refuge for Muslims by others and by Muslims for people of all persuasions. Shari’ah Law (Pathway) also encourages the safety of aliens and refugees, and teaches that anyone seeking refuge in a Mosque or sacred place is to be given protection and hospitality. But it also goes further and and encourages people to designate their homes and civic buildings as places for refuge. in the Qur’an, Sura 9.6 (see also sura 8.72 ff., and 9.100, 117, among many) asks for pagans to be given refuge, and yes, in the hope they will also eventually find hope in Allah, but the refuge (Aman) must be given!

Whether you are religious or not isn’t the point, it is that in culture past, people found within themselves to look beyond self and even to make laws to protect people, especially those seeking refuge. and if you are prone to a cynicism (original meaning – to question) then it is not about how religion has clearly failed to honour its own teachings. The ideal still stands, can we reach it?

I reflect on that and find hope, hope for a world where we are less concerned for tribe and self and more concerned for building a community where care and compassion can be the foundation for a less negative world. Where the globe itself is a city of refuge.

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized