In the book The Art Of Communication, Thich Nhat Hanh shares a story of a school of fish and altruism and how when there is danger, some of the fish will go towards the danger, if the danger is false, all the fish will come back, and if the danger is real, some of the fish will stay to be eaten and some fish will go back to warn the school to go another way. The more acts like this that a young fish witnesses, the more likely future generations will continue to support one another, but, if you divide the group of fish, then they are less likely to be altruistic in the future, because they have not had the chance to have this trait turned on in their physiology.
In the book The Trauma of Everyday Life, Mark Epstein shares a condensed version of the story of Patacara, a longer version is available to listen to here: https://www.ancient-buddhist-texts.net/English-Texts/Foremost-Elder-Nuns/04-Patacara.htm
I shared it with a friend who is torn about her friend who is about to V her children because that is what her husband wants and not necessarily what she wants. Back to the title of this article, and also to share that: sometimes people do things we wouldn’t do or we disagree with because this will allow them to reach a certain level or enlightenment not otherwise possible.
We are so judgmental, we think we know all, but if we all go down the same path, the other paths are unexplored, we don’t get to learn from them, and if the path we all go down is wrong for all of us, and no one goes out to check another way, and no one comes back to inform the group (think of all the people sharing their truths on social media now, that many hate for doing so), we are all gone.
Even yesterday, when I labeled some bins at our school with words, I left room for my son to add a drawing of what my label represents for the non readers. He holds his pen in a way that would make most mainstream school teachers cringe (the full hand grab, or I call it the dot matrix, he does so because this allows him to be more accurate with his drawing and writing, but his hand tires quickly when he writes, if only there were a way for him to type… of course there is). Its HIS hand, to use as he feels will serve him best and give him the most joy in life. He is an artist, I am a writer, we need not both be the same, and if we both only did one thing, then we and the world would suffer the loss of one or both of our true gifts.
I will never ever ever ever take this V or any V. I will never wear a M. I will never give the V or recommend it to my kids or anyone, even when pub-lick hell feels entitled to email me directly to my LinkedIn inbox asking me to encourage my clients to do so. If other people want to take it, showing us how dangerous or non successful it really is, go for it. Then we know, in-jecting oneself with that stuff is a bad idea, proven well, thank you. And if people need to do so in order to be able to grow their heart three times the size to finally be able to empathize with the many families who are ant-E-V because they have lost a child or experienced a V injury, then that is ok too, and if their kids want to use this opportunity to exit this life (suicide rates have not only increased, the strategies people are choosing are far more likely to be successful too, they mean it, they want out) or have them or their parents learn what really matters in life, there we go. And also, if the V is truly the solution, we will see that too. However, I know we learn from illness, this is how healers become great at what they do.
Its all good, this world is for trying out our unique things and seeing where other people’s unique things can take them too. No judgement, just awe, at the path we each choose. Even if the path another chooses harms me, which is does, then I get to (have to) learn how to navigate one more thing, which means I gain knowledge, skill, more connections and support, to continue to thrive, and support others in this life.
Sending you love, as hopefully you do you, because that is what feels right for you to do. 💕