Jean Marie Gunner

Jean Marie Gunner
We are all basically good.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Boy Talk

On July 4, 2009, my youngest, Aidan, eight years old at the time, shared with me the following translations. He said he was telling me this just so I could understand his and his brother’s "Boy Talk."

Number one, “Yo” means “Hi.”

Number two, “Whatever” means “Ok.”

Number three, “I don’t care.” means “I am doing something.” or it might mean “I am just being sarcastic.” or “I seriously don’t care so please don’t get mad at me for dumb things.”

“If you pay attention to these rules, you’ll know how I talk and I love you. Good luck!”

I wonder if these same rules apply for all boys.

I am once more planted outside in the midst of a summer morning this July 4th2012. There is a morning chorus of cardinals and chickadees happening all around my quiet sitting and writing. A cardinal perched in the soft maple tree in front of me just finished a song. I had to search with these tired eyes in the branches to find her striking scarlet profile. What freedom in doing what you were born to do?

I have been contemplating the meaning of work. As I have said to my sons in my view of finding one’s life work -- the work we do must have meaning, whatever it may be. First, find something you love to do because you will spend lots of time doing it. Second, make it beneficial for humanity and our precious world. Third, making money is of course essential and operating from a mindset of abundance rather than poverty no matter one’s circumstance brings contentment and peace. Fourth, be generous and share.

Finding our place in the world takes practice. As children we know we are part of a family, we may have been taught that we are part of a wider circle like a church, synagogue, or community. Realizing that we are part of everything may seem so big but it is true. Everything is connected and interwoven. Finding work that brings both freedom and unity, perhaps a seeming duality, can be freeing.

“It is touching your origin – your place in this world, the place you came from and the place you belong. It is as if you were taking a long walk through the woods at twilight. You hear the sounds of birds and catch a glimpse of the fading light in the sky.” This is a quote by Meditation Master, Chögyam Trungpa, from Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior, speaking on how to “rule your world” in a way that is disciplined and dignified and also enjoyable. As he says, “You can combine survival and celebration.”

I think this is good way to think about our work and about what we commemorate and celebrate today on the 4th of July.

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