Human to Human is a daily blog. It’s journalling and learning in public, Monday through Thursday, in which I post current learnings (taking sporadic weeks off to write longer pieces or to rest). Posts are 300-500 words, often with photos, intended to be read in five minutes and inspire reflection, individually and communally, on varied aspects of participative leadership practices, insights, and human to human depth.

Thanks Giving US

Today is Thanksgiving in the USA. At its best, it marks a day of extra attention to gratitudes. It is a day for extra energy of thankfulness. At its best, it is a day of gathering with family and / or friends. For joy. For celebration. For support. For softness. For sharing gifts, be they of time, or connection, or attention. This year, more of that will be happening on Zoom screens.

At its worst, Thanksgiving is a day of selective attention to selective history. Denying origins from an era rooted in colonization. And blindness to an indigenous way of being. And othering. At its worst, it is a day (and weekend) when commercialism runs amuck with its soothing and seductive ways.

It all goes together. Integrating contrasting views, without neglecting either, is so often the path for growing wisdom. And maturity of orientation.

For me, I’ll lift up a few thanks for this moment.

I am thankful
for family that claims me and welcomes me to claim them.

I am thankful
for colleagues that insist on a journey with grace and imagination.

I am thankful
for a healthy enough body that carries me through this walk of life.

I am thankful
for ground beneath my feet that remains abundant and kind.

I am thankful
for sky above that welcomes breath and longer view.

I am thankful
for roof over my head that gives me dwelling.

I am thankful
for memories of days gone by that compel days to come.

I am thankful
for simple things, like toothpaste to accompany bedtime brushing.

I am thankful
for complex and inherent things, like mystery that beckons tears, longing, and belly laughs.

I am thankful
for a moment to be thankful in this way.

An Orientation To Guide

If I were thinking computers, this would be a kind of operating system. It would be a few parts that connect other parts, a few algorithms, some impressive engineering, and some remarkable speed.

But today, I’m not thinking computers. I’m thinking about human life. I’m thinking about human life in the 2020s. I’m thinking about the involved circumstance and pressures that are part of everyday life for everyday people.

Since I’m thinking human life, what follows below is more an orientation. A guide. A few rules of life perhaps. A few values that for me have some roots in my grandparents, my parents, my family, and some beloved friends and colleagues along the way.

So, here’s some clarity for this human life, living in November of the 2020s, sorting through the times, the photos, the images, the crazy-making, and the caring that is these days. Words that come to me in the morning, following the gift of overnight slumber, and from the dark of a day yet to be greeted by sun rising.

There are clearly times when less is kind, and less is more. 

Get outside everyday.
Nature matters, even a short walk, a glimpse of sky, and wind that kisses face.

Pay attention to body.
It is vessel to hold us in the great changing.

Work shorter hours.
Integration requires wide berth, and is itself, important work.

Accept the pain.
It too is real, and denying it is too consuming.

Follow the joy.
It is a reliable clue, particularly upon accepting the pain.

Receive and give gifts.
Human civilization has always been fed by this.

Carry on with Spirit.
I suspect the Guides understand predicaments.

These are personal. But perhaps also, quite universal. To perhaps, guide, even if just for a few days.

An Asian Fable

The forest was shrinking,
but the trees kept
voting for the axe.

For the axe was clever
and convinced the trees
that because his handle was wood,
he was one of them.

Bear with me. Trying to get words this morning, to go with a simple clarity from a rather deep yearning.

It’s worth paying attention to, no? This fable. The ways that we ourselves, contribute to bringing upon us, our circumstance.

I suppose it wise to have the ability to seek and contribute kindness. As way of being. Not just the clever of the moment that is short-lived and in the end, harmful. With fellow human beings also contributing with kindness to do hard things. And joyful things. We go together.

I suppose it wise to have the ability to seek and contribute consciousness. Also, as way of being. Not just replication of the shallow that is also short-lived and harmful. With fellow human beings also contributing to shift and waking. Together lasts longer.

I suppose it is wise to grow the ability to orient to flow with life itself. And spirit that infuses that. And nature. Again, as way of being. Not just stuck patterns that escalate destruction and further clinging to a story that was a misdirection in the first place. We do together. We learn to do differently together.

It’s a fable worth paying attention to. Yes, for the long view. And yes, for most of us, in the 15 minute increments right before us. To contribute from the long view, into these days, or weeks, or months, or years that we have. Together. And in isolated moments. All of it.

Thanks. May these words spark something beautiful.