Be MINDFUL of what is happening in and around you.
April 18, 2012
Be always thristy and hungry about the whole business of acquiring knowledge. And dedicate yourself to understanding the relationship between things and how it may affect your life. As understanding is the only thing that enables a man to distinguish between right from wrong; it lights the way to living an organically powered life – and this is important as many, if you care to notice have really only preoccupied themselves with the business of taking short cuts – students study hard and get into good universities to land themselves a gravy train job for life – yes, they may have a stellar academic record, but nonetheless it is just another way of short cutting the system – managers who hide in the corporate headquarters in a skyscraper and control mining and plantation operations thousands of miles while not even knowing the difference between a coconut tree and a palm – again these people have never bothered with getting to know the business from the bottom up. Again they are just short cutting in the hope of scoring a mother load – but if you are serious about the whole business of educating yourself in the University of life – then be mindful that you do not develop only one aspect of your character while leaving the others areas in your nature under developed. If you do this, then you will find that you are really good in one area and that is no good. As to be able to see a thing smooth through to its logical end, it is necessary for a man to have an array of skills – he must be able to manage himself and others, manage conflict along with getting to know what must be done and how to go about choosing the right people to get the job done with the highest level of quality and delivery reliability – all these things require rounded knowledge and a wide range of experience that can only be gleaned from the bottom, not upstairs or in your air-con office cave – so if you happen to be working in an office – ask your bosses whether you can be assigned down stream – get to know the operations by rubbing shoulders with the grease monkeys. There is no shame in the search for knowledge. If you happen to be a high flying policeman, follow the shift and get to know what your men are doing day in the field – and if you happen to be a planter, make sure that you are always appearing in the most unexpected places. When your men see this, they will know, you are on the ball and so it is very difficult for them to grow complacent as you are really like a hawk who seems to see everything. And since you have dedicated your education to knowledge and understanding things – it is really quiet impossible to fool you. But if all you do is mix with your own kind and sorround yourself with happy pretensions and have never bothered to explore the discomfort zone – then it is very unlikely that you will get to know the business process or operations of the firm, police station, factory or warehouse very well – and if you have so many blind spots, then it is really only a matter of time before you will go down for the count one day, as you have not bothered to understand the things that needs to be understood even before deciding to commit yourself to a thing – understanding is our friend in the desolation of the wilderness – understanding is what makes possible the idea for a man to stand proudly in his community to always do the things that needs to be done – understanding is the constant companion when one faces challenges that may threaten to drive you crazy; it guides us to happiness; it sustains us in difficult times; it is the lubricant and cement that binds friends and alliances and a dragon skin shield against the arrows that are loosed by the seen and unseen enemies in our daily life.
To understand is to know and to know is to be relaxed and when one is in this state of perfect rest, only then can big things be taken by the horns.
“When you walk around your plantation – be purposeful – be present in a meaningful way. By this I mean, when you come across a knot of workers take an interest in what they doing, observe carefully how they are going about the business of the doing – if you find they are slow and just going through the motions, ask the leader sarcastically, “do you want me to help you?” This is really enough to set a wayward man right as it is a very subtle way of reprimanding a man while allowing him a graceful way of saving face – you will find these workers can only pick up speed when you make your presence felt in a meaningful way –there is no need to shout and throw your weight around like a spoilt brat. Only fools use an atomic bomb to control termites. Use only the right and appropriate quantity of force and direct it like a precision strike rocket. You will find a little goes a very long way. When you go deep into the interior of jungle again make your presence felt in a meaningful way – take the trouble to fellowship with the jungle tribes and sit down for a meal with the elders, conduct yourself as a stern man who is a cheiftain in his own right –listen to them and go hunting with the warriors – as usually they will tell you things that the elders will choose to hide from you, if they tell you this season the birds are flying south instead of North, then it means the dry season has come early – when they tell you that the waters in the river is cold in the morning and brackish at night, then it can only mean, it will be a very dry season. From the tribesmen you should also get knowledge about the movements of people and what their business may be in your area along with weather and the ebb and flow of waters. In the coffee shop again make your presence felt in a meaningful way, do not just sit down with the people who you are most comfortable with – touch base with the village policemen, Imam, Brahmin, taoist monk, ghost police, village medium and country foot doctor, listen to their daily gossip – these men are your daily newspaper and are more informative than CNN and Reuters put together, from them you will know what is happening in and around your village and who the potential trouble makers are in your vicinity – in this quiet and unassuming way the wise farmer will know everything even before it happens and this will allow him to plan perfectly for what he must do. As the worst thing that can happen to a man is to wake up one morning only to realize that something has changed without even him realizing it.”
Extracted from the Way of the Farmer – “Read the local newspaper through people.”