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u/AmhranDeas ยท 1 pointr/MontaigneHebdomadaire

> Everybody's going on about living in the moment. It seems to me we do nothing but live in the presence. Who has time for the future or the past? They seem a luxury for the men and women of leisure if we still have those kicking around. Of course it's a bit more complicated than just being forced to be in the moment. We can't stop our brains. How many times have I not asked it to please just shut down. I understand how people take to drink to dull the mind. Numb the constant pain etc. How do we know ourselves?

We were just talking about this at work just now. I recommended a book I picked up ten years ago that I really enjoyed, although I acknowledge that it's not to everyone's tastes: Sit Down and Shut Up: Punk Rock Commentaries on Buddha, God, Truth, Sex, Death, and Dogen's Treasury of the Right Dharma Eye. The author was a punk rock bassist before becoming a Zen Master, and so very well understands the chaos that the modern mind is confronted with. He does a good job of describing how to be mentally and psychologically still in the face of the vagaries of everyday life. I'll warn you he has a very no-nonsense way of expressing himself, though (in line with his roots in Punk) that might be off-putting to some.

> I think perhaps last week's quote may offer the beginnings of a resolution. If we act according to our purpose and values then maybe we can begin to find and eventually be and know ourselves.

Again, about ten years ago, I stumbled on a book written by some guy who decided he would say "yes" to any activity or opportunity offered him. He was advocating saying yes more often than we do, on the argument that we cut ourselves off from life-changing experiences if we don't. (I notice there's a brand new book on the bestseller list that is essentially a re-hash of the same concept). I've done that for the last ten years, and while I admit I had some amazing experiences as a result, I'm now tending towards saying that I need to say "no" more often lest I am literally drawn and quartered by all the things I have committed to do. Fundamentally, we need to know ourselves well enough to know what means the most to us, and be courageous enough to say "no" (in a nice way, of course) to things that don't match that, and most importantly, be OK with not doing everything. I don't know about you, but I've been hearing about women having to be "superwomen" for so long, admitting that I can't do it all is actually really hard.

> Your friends have a very good point. I used to mentor a lot of young a upcoming consultants. They're we all socially conscious, vegans, active members of you-name-it, hip PC etc. But the moment I gave them a test or a task they were at each others throat. Backstabbing that would make Brutus proud. They very often took personal affront at something and would go on and on about it. In short, special snowflakes indeed. Empathy was considered cool but I'm not sure they really knew what that concept entails.

Is "resilience" a concept you see a lot in your work environment? It's the new big thing here in my workplace - how to cope with an ever-changing work environment, and with the inevitable failures and flubs that come from working in such an environment. Many of our folks scoff at the concept, as though they are expected to be relentlessly positive. But that's not at all what it really means.

> I think humanism should focus more on that and also that with increased individual freedom also comes a certain responsibility. Sometimes I think we forget that in the crusade for more and more individual rights we run the risk of breaking the social contract. Also, a lot of people, these days could do with a little bit of humility in the face of the human condition.

Absolutely. Individuality at the expense of all others is a cancer on modern thought, and I really wish it would go away.