Replying to LO23726 --
I've just read your beatifully writen piece from your desert journey. You
say that caring is the essencial attitude for learning and to a learning
organization. I must agree. You couldn't have put it better. The thing is:
caring... how? for what? how do we do that??
Caring is a wonderful thing. Once you manage to do it, everything seems to
make sense, every little drop of water running from the leaves of a tree
to a hand resting in the sand seems to be the most lovely that ever has
been. But the fact is, it doesn't seem like it beforehand. Before we feel
it. Rationally, what's the sense of drops of water falling from the high?
I'm very skeptical towards pleas for caring people. And i say that even
though I agreed with everything you said. Why am I skeptical? Because
it's often misinterpreted.
Before caring for others we must learn to care for ourselves. Caring for
others before ouselves seems noble and kind, but it has several perverse
effects. One of them, maybe the most important, is that it sacrifices the
concept of giving as a whole. Giving, for me the central concept behind
love and caring, necessarly includes the willingness to give. It is an act
of will. When we put others before ourselves, the option of not-giving is
not available. The paradigm is: I can, therefore I give. I must give. This
means that it becomes an obligation. A duty. It means that the willingness
of giving is sacrificed. Giving becomes a neutral act, not a positive one.
Not-giving means failure. Giving is norm.
Can you see where it leads, now? If not-giving means failure, the whole
act of giving carries fears. The fear of failure, the fear of not being
able to accept the sacrifice of what we give, the pain it may bring, and
in the end, the fear of threats to your act, thus, intervention from other
people, or from unknown variables. When we were children, unknowns made us
curious. Once we're adults, unknowns make us frightened.
The fact is, we lead lives with attitudes we learned, were educated in,
aculturated in. We're scared of others, of what we have to give, of not
receiving, of feeling. We learned to defend ourselves from what we feel.
Feelings betray us. We learned we cannot trust our feelings, because
sometimes we don't feel like giving, or quite the opposite, we feel like
hurting someone else. And that leads to pain. And we're scared of pain.
Actually, we're much more likely to betray our feelings than our feelings
betraying ourselves. Our feelings ARE ourselves. And we learned very well
to shut them up as inconviniences and when we do that, we shut ourselves
We do not care, At, we do not give, because we forgot how to feel. We very
carefully and effortly forgot how to feel. It's seemingly very useful and
rationally makes a lot of sense. We do not feel, therefore we do not hurt.
Others and ourselves.
When I look for rhythm in communication as I have for the past weeks with
your help, Organlearners, I'm also looking for feeling. For how we can
feel all that's around. For how we can attempt to understand. Barry
pointed out I did it sometimes in a dehumanizing way. He's right, one of
my main defences is rationalism. Yet, reason has its uses. As long as I
don't forget to feel, it can do some good. It can get me further along the
road. And if I manage to feel YOU, and you feel ME, it can get US further
along the road.
One important step towards caring seems to me the recovering of the
willingness to give. I can and I WANT therefore I give. Giving must be a
positive thing. I give because I feel like it, not because I must. And
not-giving is ok too. Easy? You try it... How many of us is really willing
to feel? How many of you? Can you risk it?
Can we risk it? Is it ok to feel sad, angry, raging, reveangeful, envious,
resentful, hateful, scared, hurt? You tell me...
You tell me: should we care?
Talking goats again: I heard once that there's a small town in the U.S.
where the radio weather-man predicted rain by looking through the window
and observing how high on the mountain were the goats that morning. How
the goats felt the rain, I have no idea, but it sure worked better than
Glad you're back, At. I'm looking forward to discuss with you. Welcome.
Abrašo a todos,
"Bruno Martins Soares" <bmartins.soares@mail.EUnet.pt>
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