Sunday, May 23, 2010

Something is Out of Place

These shoes should be by the door. What to do?
  • Get up, pick them up, and put them by the door.
  • Scold the kids for leaving their shoes scattered about, have them put the shoes where they belong, and have them do the dishes while they're at it.
  • Get up, find something the kids value, and move it out of place. See how long until they notice. Make a point about the shoes later.
  • Remind yourself that, on some level, there is no "right place" or "wrong place," and the placement of the shoes is irrelevant in the grand scheme of things; then, appreciate the displeasure of the shoes being in the wrong place.
  • Burn down the house. Now there is no place and there are no shoes.
It's likely that one choice makes sense to you and that the others seem silly. It's also likely that, depending upon who you are, which one makes sense differs.  Moreover, for each of the choices, there is likely someone who thinks that that answer is the best answer.

Let's add complexity. A second person in the house believes that the shoes belong right where they are. Now what?

Do you think Aikido or Zen, or this philosophy or that religion will teach you how to handle the question?

While you consider this important question, I'll put your shoes by the door and fix you a cup of tea.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

NICE posting, Joe.
I actually am sipping a cup of tea, having just downloaded a bunch of photos from camera to computer, and checking friend's blogs before I start composing one.
Question 1: my tendency would be to quietly place them where I think they belong.
Question 2: Second person is clearly delusional :-) ok, not really. I'd like to think I'd simply state my preference and leave it at that, as its not something I perceive as critical/non-negotiable.
Question 3: hmmm. I think that being open to thinking about the question is the key, and whatever preferred exterior thing helps the specific person do that is fine. In and of itself, no, aikido or whathaveyou will bear no intrinsic answer.