Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Lessons from too much time spent sitting

I'm going to get disciplined about this thing and start writing at least three times a week. It worked last week and possibly the week before. I can do routines and discipline... it just takes routines and discipline.

Today was desperately boring. Everyone from the main clinic had to sit in on a mandatory mediation. Apparently there are some pretty be troubles right here in River City. Fasten your seat belts, its going to be a bumpy ride. Actually not that bad. We at El Centro like to think of ourselves as a family. A big, squabbling, funny, dysfunctional family with messianic tendencies. And yes, I think we will save the world. At least our little bit of it. Today was all about getting to know your neighbor and talking about their strengths, the beauty of their character and the value of their experience. All of the times that you wished to grasp your neighbor firmly by the throat, rather like a rat terrier, and shake the life out of them- these instances were definately off the agenda.

On the whole, I think it was a great exercise. How often do we tell the people in our lives how much we value them? The most interesting person, I thought, was the janitor. He's a grizzled biker dude with a wisp of a goatee, multiple black and grey tattoos, and for riding his Harley he wears a headscarf that covers his face with a leering skull. He vibrates with energy and you can tell by looking at him that he's been in some unsavory situations. The clinic is also the cleanest its been since I got there. He has a smile and a good thing to say every afternoon. Today he had some really beautiful things to say about the importance of trust, respect, and open communication.

Damn, I did it again. I made assumptions about our biker dude before I knew a thing about him. Every time I do that I get a jolt and I'm ashamed of myself and my firmly middle-class assumptions about appearances and what they mean. You'd think I'd learn this little lesson by now. Thats why we're here I guess, to learn and relearn to love our fellow travelers.

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