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What Do We Pass On?

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“Lastly, this: we teach what we believe to be true, and we teach around what we refuse to see. What do we hide from ourselves, and how are we teaching it to our students?” – Asher Bey

Examining as best we can the things we avoid, the way we justify things to ourselves and others, the little lies that don’t seem so bad… All of this is important to our growth as humans, as teachers, as parents, as leaders. Our traditions have ways and means to self-examination and self-teaching, and yet we still forget. We treat ourselves and others badly.

What are the signals? I can speak for myself: when I notice myself growing fractious more often than is usual, it is time to re-visit some of the tools I’ve not been using. If part of my personality is bristling at being challenged, it is time to re-center. And both of these are information that another round of self-observation is in order. Why are these things coming up? What am I responding to?

We can also use this to look at our communities. How much good will is present on any given day? How many tempests are brewing? Do we treat one another with respect? How much awareness of the common good is held at the forefront, even as people are supported to do their own best and deepest work? In bringing these sorts of questions to our observation of community, we can best decide how our own thoughts, actions, and words contribute to building strength and healing, or to building discord and feeding the drama beasts. Once we have challenged ourselves and altered our own interactions, we can see if that helps to create change. We can also challenge others, from this new place of centeredness and connection.

And if that has no or little effect, sometimes we need to put ourselves into situations that feel healthier for our deepening and growth.

What are we teaching ourselves? What are we teaching each other? When we imagine ourselves at our best, what does that look and feel like? How close are we living to that ideal?

I’ll keep pondering Asher Bey’s excellent question. I hope you will ponder with me.

In service – Thorn

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