A Tantrum, Timidity and Treating Life

What a wonderful time to be alive.

Merry Monday to you. Here’s a tidbit from me, a quote from someone else and a question for you.

Enjoy, let me know what you think, and have a glorious week.

A Tidbit From Me: About a Tantrum

A young person shouted at me the other day.

“Stop saying I can do it! I know who I am, I know what I can do, and I CAN’T DO IT!”

Then they threw something at me and stormed out of the room.

I usually see humour in such situations, but this one upset me.

I know who I am.

Exclaiming their personal identification with an inability to do a simple task. I had supported them in completing a similar task recently.

The biggest barriers we face are made in our mind.

It pains me to hear a young soul building and defending barriers with their words and self-talk.

Next day, I saw this young person. We greeted each other warmly.

“Sir, I’m sorry for yesterday,” they said, eyes meeting mine.

“Thank you, but you don’t have to apologise,” I smiled. “And I’m not a sir.”

I wish for this young person – for all young people – to build a bold identity, leaping over barriers, laughing that they ever took them seriously, shouting merrily, “Don’t you dare say I can’t do it! I know who I am, I know what I can do, and I CAN DO IT!”

A Quote From Someone Else: On Timidity and Mortality

Here is a quote from a book an old friend of mine suggested I read.

I read it more than 12 years ago. I enjoyed it, but never really ‘got’ it.

The quote is raw, harsh, but above all, inspiring.

“You don’t have time for this display, you fool,” Don Juan said in a severe tone.

“This, whatever you’re doing now, might be your last act on earth. It may very well be your last battle. There is no power which could guarantee that you are going to live one more minute. You have no time, my friend, no time. None of us have time…

Acts have power,” he said, “Especially when the person acting knows that those acts are his last battle. There is a strange consuming happiness in acting with the full knowledge that whatever one is doing may very well be one’s last act on earth. I recommend that you reconsider you life and bring your acts into that light…

Focus your attention on the link between you and your death, without remorse or sadness or worrying. Focus your attention on the fact you don’t have time and let your acts flow accordingly. Let each of your acts be your last battle on earth. Only under those conditions will your acts have their rightful power. Otherwise they will be, for as long as you live, the acts of a timid man.”

“Is it so terrible to be a timid man?” I asked.

“No. It isn’t if you are going to be immortal, but if you are going to die there is not time for timidity, simply because timidity makes you cling to something that exists only in your thoughts. It soothes you while everything is at a lull, but then the awesome, mysterious world will open its mouth for you, as it will open for every one of us, and then you will realise that your sure ways were not so sure at all. Being timid prevents us from examining and exploiting our lot as men.”

Journey to Ixtlan: The Lessons of Don Juan by Carlos Castenada, 1972

A Question For You: A Slight of Sentence

Instead of “How are you?” I often ask people, “How is life treating you?”

Mulling meaning, which I’m partial to, it has occurred to me that the way I pose the question infers something with which I do not agree.

How is life treating you – as if you are a passive object receiving your lot from life, buffeted hither and thither, rubbery and rudderless.

As if you are timid, like Don Juan’s scolded apprentice. 

So, my question today is a slight of sentence.

“How are you treating life?” 

Hope you enjoyed the bi-monthly tidbit, quote and question from me, every other Monday.

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