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Generosity and hospitality are quite counter-cultural at the moment.

There is much about defending what is ours and not much about giving freely of what we have. In Australia, where I live, the sheer awfulness of the treatment of asylum seekers is difficult to comprehend.

In Australia the current government wishes to sell off collective (government owned) assets to private corporates.

Competition is still regarded as the basis of social relations by some. Instead of something to improve sporting (and in modest, some other) skills.

And yet we enjoy and celebrate giving freely and generously, especially at this time of year. And, though we don’t pay a lot of attention to it, in many ways throughout the year.

  • We freely give attention to others and listen to them.
  • Most of us, most of them, give small acts of courtesy without thinking about it.
  • We value harmony in our close relationships, and are tired of petty squabbling by politicians.
  • Many of us do long for politicians to have the integrity and courage to act to save the planet, even if at some cost to our lifestyles.

The spirit of Christmas is alive, in our close relationships most obviously. And would revolutionise our world if applied more widely.

I invite you to find a quiet moment, perhaps once Christmas is over, and contemplate what it would mean to live out a little more of the subversive spirit of Christmas.

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My last post was about thinking and feeling deeply before acting. A friend pointed out that this would lead to people acting in their usual ways, and this could be a problem. I entirely agree.

For instance,
bureaucracy doesn’t deal with complexity; when it comes across a complex problem the tendency is to add another category.
Management may not respect people; so we tweak the particular system of management or advise the manager.
We don’t like a political result so pursue the usual political and lobbying strategies.
We don’t like how a relationship is going, so do more of the way we have been relating (being emotional or unemotional, analytical or not thought out and so on).

Sometimes the way we do what we do can be a problem (sometimes a very big problem).

 

What to do?
I’d like to put it this way. Instead of thinking deeply, feeling deeply and then acting: think deeply, feel deeply, then act with thoughtfulness and feeling.

What does this mean in practise? It can mean lots of different things. [click to continue…]

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