Wednesday, April 18

Thinking and Acting

And now to examine a bit of wisdom from The Analects (largely attributed to Confucius) (which I keep typing as "confusion") :

Ji Wen thought thrice, and then acted. When the Master was informed of it, he said, "Twice may do."

This quote reminded me of my friend Joe Campbell. When we met - I was a very green camera operator. I was working as a volunteer on his local public access show. Over time he observed that I had several...we'll call them quirks... There were tasks that I performed with great ritual. One particular one that I recall was that I would lock off the tripod's tilt, unlock it and then lock it again. He asked why. I replied that I wanted to be sure that I remembered to do it - because those particular tripods had a habit of not only allowing the camera to go tilting toward the ceiling...because they were old (public access in Lynchburg rarely had much budget)...the camera could even pop off the plate and crash to the floor.

He asked if I had ever failed to properly lock off a camera. I admitted that I never had - but had seen other volunteers do it wrong and the results could be pretty damaging to the equipment. He encouraged me to learn to trust myself more. I realized that wasn't the only quirk that I had that involved double and triple checking myself. And so I started to consciously watch myself lock the tilt and then walk away. And no, I never did fail at that task - and learning to trust myself was a great lesson to learn.

We discussed this particular quote in class this week. One of the very astute young men in the class talked about it in terms of video gaming. I don't really know what game it is that he plays - but I did understand what he was expressing. He said that if you don't learn to observe, analyze and then act in gaming - you will get killed a lot more. If you over analyze every action - you'll remain frozen for too long.

But then one other young man shared that he also understood that the Master wasn't just saying "don't think" - the Master DID say "Twice may do". Don't just go off half-cocked, it is okay to think. Just don't let it hold you back from the moving forward.

Now - your homework! Ponder the following...

There were four things from which the Master was entirely free. He had no foregone conclusions, no arbitrary predeterminations, no obstinacy, and no egoism.

Talk amongst yourselves...

Hamster beaten.

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