No "But!" about it -- "And" energizes creative solutions (From a sort-of book I wrote a while back)
By Jokingme on May 16, 2013
Reason and passion? Who knew?
Someone came into my life once with, it seems, a lesson to tell me straight up that I would not have learned otherwise—no matter how much I beat myself up in the back and forth.
“And,” he said.
Apparently, people can multitask. We can be two separate ways of being, simultaneously. In real time. No excuses needed.
I had been listing my deficiencies as a human being. My shortcomings and character flaws. He mentioned I also had good aspects of me and that the bad list did not cancel out the good.
“You drink too much and you want to stop,” he said. “Not but. And. See? You are a good person and you have done bad things. You want to have a stable life and be free. See? ”
Oh. My. God.
My polarized world shifted on its axis.
Change one word and change everything.
I can love to eat and need to watch my weight. I have the power! Now I can make better choices instead of having these two facts of me cancel each other out and leave me stuck in some quicksand dilemma, enslaved to the status quo.
I can love my ex and not be able to live with him.
Want to earn a living and write!
Not agree with any formal religion and keep the company of an unlimited, indefinable power source. Love my children and need some “me” time. Hate exercise and love being fit. Have a troubled childhood and be a functioning adult.
Now I had power. Crazy-stupid power. I was not a victim of how things might have been but this or that happened. I had the power to find creative solutions that honor both realities on either side of the and equation!
How much human suffering comes out of our collective buts? (Sorry. Couldn’t resist.)
We don’t like paying high taxes but we need roads and police (nothing changes.) We hate the public school system but our kids need an education (nothing changes.) We know prisons don’t reform criminals but we have to get them off the streets (nothing changes.) We hate bombing villages on the other side of the world but we are afraid they will bomb us (nothing changes.) We want to leave him but we don’t know where we will go (nothing changes.)
What if there were no buts about it?
But kills conversation. Closes the subject. Stops progress.
AND accepts the reality of the situation and seeks creative solutions.
Oh and I love creative solutions. More than just about anything. I am passionate about the subject.
I can be wise and a fool? Yay!
(As a matter of fact, any wisdom that has stuck to me along the way like burrs on a dog has come from following my fool’s path.)
Imagine this power in the hands of leaders and children and teachers and healers and business owners and…it staggers the imagination.
Fairy dust, right?
Reason and passion? Perfectly balanced? And harmonized?
Change and wholeness cannot begin so simply, can it?
Besides, what do I know? I can’t prove anything beyond my knowing. I’m no Einstein. Or DaVinci. Or Ben Franklin or Thomas Edison or Henry Ford or Steve Jobs or Bill Gates or…
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