1284 Chapters
Medium 9781523094578

4: Connectedness

Murphy-Shigematsu, Stephen Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

For the white person who wants to know how to be my friend

The first thing you do is to forget that i’m Black.

Second, you must never forget that i’m Black.1

PAT PARKER

The boy in my high school yearbook photo is dressed in a summer kimono, a matching headband tied around his forehead, eyes closed, arms folded, sitting serenely with his back to a blazing fireplace. It was my choice of how I wanted to be photographed and seen by others. The white boys in my school saw me as “almost black,” because they had some idea of what it meant to be black, and no idea of what it might mean to be Japanese. Neither did I, but I imagined myself as a cool, tough, calm samurai, as that was the only good image I had, thanks to glorious stories from childhood about my great-grandfather.

The photo caption read: “He represents an easy balance between East and West.” Those were not my choice of words. I felt nothing like an easy balance. I was off center, romantically searching for understanding who I was and where I belonged. The two seemed inseparable, yet vital to finding my place in the human family. In what would prove to be a tortuous, twisting path, a never-ending journey, I was on my way home.

See All Chapters
Medium 9781626560956

3 A Melted Heart

Smith, Seth Adam Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

The notion that our lives are like the eternal cycle
of the seasons does not deny the struggle or the joy,
the loss or the gain, the darkness or the light,
but encourages us to embrace it all—and to find
in all of it opportunities for growth.

PARKER PALMER, LET YOUR LIFE SPEAK

One morning, the Selfish Giant woke up to music so sweet that “he thought it must be the King’s musicians passing by.” In reality, it was the singing of a little bird in his garden—a sound that signified the coming of spring, and one he had not heard for many years. He ran to his window and “saw a most wonderful sight.”

The children had discovered a hole in the wall and had crawled back into the garden. And, as if by magic, anything that the children touched burst into life. “The birds were flying about and twittering with delight, and the flowers were looking up through the green grass and laughing.”

Seeing this, the Giant’s heart melted and he cried out, “How selfish I have been!” Although the Giant had built what he had imagined to be an impenetrable wall, the children had found a way to come back. The stony wall around his heart was eventually penetrated by the love and humanity of others.

See All Chapters
Medium 9781523094073

14. Eating, Drinking, and Walking Around

Fleming, Carol Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

HOW TO CIRCULATE AND NOT SPILL

I just barely noticed you last night at the company cocktail party, slithering through the doorway and heading for the nearest dark corner. You stood out of the light until you spotted the food table. Then you left the corner for the croissants, the shadow for the salmon, and the dark for the drinks. It was clear you had not eaten dinner before you came, as you piled the chicken wings and quiche on your paper plate. I did get a glimpse of you standing in apparent confusion with plate in one hand and drink in the other, wondering how in the world you were going to eat with both hands occupied. I entertained the vision of someone approaching you to shake hands while you were so encumbered. But no, you had made a dash for your dark corner where you could deal with your meal. The next time I looked, you were gone. In my mind, I asked you, “Why did you come to the cocktail party? For the chicken wings?”

You actually came because you thought you “should” be socializing and meeting new people.

See All Chapters
Medium 9781626567771

10 The Courage to Choose Wisely

, The Center for Courage & Renewal Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

I want my inner truth to be the plumb line for the choices I make about my life—about the work that I do and how I do it, about the relationships I enter into and how I conduct them.

—Parker J. Palmer

Greg Eaton, whom we met in chapter 8, faced a difficult time as a business owner in the years following the 2008 recession. “I was constantly stretched by the reality of living through ’08, ’09, ’10, when the economy was so tough. Wanting to keep the company healthy and profitable and also care for the workforce I care so deeply about, as so many things are shifting . . . Talk about tension.”

In his business organizing corporate meetings and incentive trips, Greg wanted his employees to be as productive as possible and to enjoy what they did—because when they did, it showed. “We clearly are in business to assist clients at a high level of excellence. But what do we do internally for the people here who give the best hours of their day, year after year, to this work so that they feel engaged and know that they’re cared about? That’s what kept me awake during those lean years.”

See All Chapters
Medium 9781605094113

20 Activate Your Superconscious Mind

Tracy, Brian Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

The subjective mind is entirely under the control of the objective mind. With the utmost fidelity, it works to its final consequences whatever the subjective mind impresses upon it.

THOMAS TROWARD

Imagine that you had just moved into a new house and the previous owner, just before leaving, took you aside privately. He explained that there was a special room in the basement that contained a most amazing computer. You could program any goal or question into that computer and it would give you exactly the right answer for you at exactly the right time. It worked every single time. And every answer would turn out to be perfectly correct. Imagine what an incredible difference this could make in your life!

The fact is that you do have such a computer. It is available and accessible to you at any time. It is called your “superconscious mind.” It is the most powerful faculty ever discovered in all of human history, and you can tap into it any time you want.

Throughout this book, I have repeated that “you become what you think about most of the time” and “whatever you can hold in your mind on a continuing basis, you can have.” In addition, we discussed the Laws of Attraction and Correspondence and the importance of absolute clarity in determining exactly what you want to be, have, and do. In every case, I was referring indirectly to the power of the superconscious mind.

See All Chapters

See All Chapters