NOTE to my followers. This will be my last post for 2018. Next week in this space you will find my annual end-of-year retrospective. Thank you for following, commenting, and sharing my posts. I appreciate you. May you end your year creating, sharing, and savoring wonderful moments for yourself and those you love. See you in 2019. Now, for this week’s offering….
“The age of a person is not determined by his years but by his flexibility.”
~ Attributed to Yogi Bhajan
Flexibility has helped us survive. Dr. Friedemann Schaub writes that our evolutionary past is a reminder that “survival of the fittest” can easily be labeled as “survival of the most flexible.” Look at a young child learning to walk. She stands, falls, stands, teeters, falls, stands, moves forward a few steps, stumbles, and walks.
Imagine what the consequence would be if she decided it would be better to just remain seated. Lost opportunities. No growth. Limited stretching and exploration. Rigid boundaries of a not-so-expansive world.
The same inflexibility can happen cognitively and emotionally. Schaub says when we stop wondering about the world,
We can gradually become entangled in rather rigid internal and
external framework of pressures, obligations, and conditional acceptance of ourselves.
The imposed reality can become our reality and leave us little room
to think or act in a flexible, self-empowered manner.
We get comfortable. Feel safe. And we limit our options and beliefs about ourselves and those around us. Growth (physical, emotional, spiritual, intellectual) is a casualty. Anxiety and fear take hold.
Same with decision making. Lack of flexibility (read: ability to look at various sides and sources of an issue) can lead to entrenched beliefs, fear, and ill-advised action.
Flexibility increases options and empowers us to find possibilities and revise our beliefs and biases.
But to be flexible we must stretch ourselves beyond our comfort zones. We must be willing to learn from opposing views.
Jonathan Haidt speaks about “openness to experiences.” People who have this openness crave newness and want a deeper life. (See TED Talk below.) They are more apt to become engaged in their world and hold a passionate commitment to the truth.
Which requires flexibility.
Yoga reminds us, “The age of a person is not determined by his years but by his flexibility.”
No one group has the corner on morality or openness. We can learn from each other. That requires flexibility.
Podcast Recommendation of the Week:
Jonathan Hait’s TED Talk on “The Moral Roots of Liberals and Conservatives.”
For more about community building and sustainability,
look for my new book,
Community as a Safe Place to Land,
due out the beginning of 2019. More information to come.
Make it an inspiring and grateful week and H.T.R.B. as needed.
For information about and to order my most recent book, Stories about Teaching, Learning, and Resilience: No Need to be an Island, click here. A few colleges and one state-wide agency have adopted it for training and coaching purposes. Contact me if you and your team are interested in doing the same.
The paperback price on Amazon is now $14.99 and the Kindle version stands at $5.99. Consider it for a faculty orientation or a mentoring program. The accompanying videos would serve to stimulate community-building conversations at the beginning of a meeting.