Responsibility vs Blame

Responsibility
is response + ability.

It is our ability
to respond.

It points to our potential
for autonomous action.

It is distinct
from blaming ourselves
or anyone else
for being
at fault.

Unless you believe
your greatest potential for action
lies in blaming
yourself
or others.

p.s: Much gratitude to Margaret Rose for the email exchange that inspired me to write this post.

Challenge of Compassion

We feel compassion
when we feel concern
for another person’s suffering
and desire
to enhance their welfare.

While sounding
virtuous,
compassion becomes
dangerous
when we have difficulty
realizing empathy
with the
concerns
and desires
of our own
or others,
leaving us unable
or unwilling
to manage our impulses
to hastily act,
in the name of “help,”
often feeling surprised
even resentful
of the other person’s response,
as we judge them
ungrateful,
resistant,
or stupid.

Emotional

We use the phrase
“emotional”
only when we display extreme degrees
of emotions.

It’s as if we don’t feel
emotions
at other times.

But
calmness
is an emotion.

Curiosity and wonder
are emotions.

The certainty
and confidence
or the uncertainty
and hesitation we feel
when making decisions
are
emotions.

Replaceable

There are leaders
under whom we feel
replaceable.

Not because they want us
replaced,
but because they focus
on whether we do well
or poorly.

Planting within us the idea
that our job
is to meet their
expectation.

There are also leaders
under whom we feel
needed.

Not only because they need us,
but because they tell us
vulnerably so
that
they need us.

That they cannot do this
by themselves.

That they need
our help.

Planting within us the idea
that our job
is to be
our best.


Thanks to Connie Chun
who inspired this post.

Fear of Jumping

What if
the fear we feel
at the end of a cliff
is less the fear
of falling
and more
that we will choose
to jump?

That the fear
comes less
from the actual danger
and more
from the lack of faith
in ourselves
to make the right
decision?

That we’ll be left
with nobody to blame
but ourselves?

Numbing

One
of the most effective ways
to numb
is through pleasure.

If we take pleasure
in our work
it’s as if we are not injured
as a byproduct.

But then
out of the blue
one deep conversation
can pierce through that veil
and outcomes
the pouring of tears.