I have been away from my blog on a writing splurge. Researching and writing has taken me to insightful blogs, has me making contact with a diverse group of like-minded people, and provided me with much food for thought as to how to relate my findings to student needs.
A few students have mentioned the study-home balance can be a real challenge. To help alleviate some of that happy home stress I am trialing de Bon Code. Edward de Bono is one of my favorite writers~ he writes about thinking; how we think…and how we can create new thinking patterns that enable effective change.
I know that my household could use better communication techniques~ it can be confusing to have an aspie (autistic) in the home, we do have a refreshing way of viewing the world that can really get other’s backs up. Though it is not all me (and I’m egocentric!), we live in a 21st century culture that often encourages conversation to focus on “what’s in it for me” rather than communication of our personhood.
Going Beyond the Limits of Language is fabulous in its simplicity, though de Bono has created comprehensive system for use in homes, schools and businesses.
Language has been the biggest help to human progress. But Ironically, Language has also become the barrier to its own development. We are locked in to words and concepts that are limited and out of date. These force us to see the world in a very old-fashioned way.
I resonate with these statements. Often, I find others very “locked in” to particular words, and tending to see a negative definition of a word first. I find this frustrating, and more than a little confusing. I think we are talking about A and they are hearing B and are on the defensive or have gone straight to a preemptive strike. Whilst I have started my own mental “code book” of B vocab I find it exhausting and ever so pointless to use words in this way, and am fully aware that my brain is changing due to what I “feed” it.
On a tangent, this line of thinking reminds me of a story:
A Native American grandfather was talking to his grandson about how he felt about a tragedy. He said, “I feel as if I have two wolves fighting in my heart. One wolf is the vengeful, angry, violent one. The other wolf is the loving, compassionate one.”
The grandson asked him, “Which wolf will win the fight in your heart?”
The grandfather answered, “The one I feed.”
Methinks that ancient challenge to be in the world and not of it begins with language.
Ok~ the network of my wiring is throwing up all sorts of related material, so share I must:
A certain shopkeeper sent his son to learn about the secret of happiness from the wisest man in the world. The lad wandered through the desert for 40 days, and finally came upon a beautiful castle, high atop a mountain. It was there that the wise man lived.
Rather than finding a saintly man, though, our hero, on entering the main room of the castle, saw a hive of activity: tradesmen came and went, people were conversing in the corners, a small orchestra was playing soft music, and there was a table covered with platters of the most delicious food in that part of the world. The wise man conversed with everyone, and the boy had to wait for two hours before it was his turn to be given the man’s attention.
The wise man listened attentively to the boy’s explanation of why he had come, but told him that he didn’t have time just then to explain the secret of happiness. He suggested that the boy look around the palace and return in two hours.
“Meanwhile, I want to ask you to do something”, said the wise man, handing the boy a teaspoon that held two drops of oil. “As you wander around, carry this spoon with you without allowing the oil to spill”.
The boy began climbing and descending the many stairways of the palace, keeping his eyes fixed on the spoon. After two hours, he returned to the room where the wise man was.
“Well”, asked the wise man, “Did you see the Persian tapestries that are hanging in my dining hall? Did you see the garden that it took the master gardener ten years to create? Did you notice the beautiful parchments in my library?”
The boy was embarrassed, and confessed that he had observed nothing. His only concern had been not to spill the oil that the wise man had entrusted to him.
“Then go back and observe the marvels of my world”, said the wise man. “You cannot trust a man if you don’t know his house”.
Relieved, the boy picked up the spoon and returned to his exploration of the palace, this time observing all of the works of art on the ceilings and the walls. He saw the gardens, the mountains all around him, the beauty of the flowers, and the taste with which everything had been selected. Upon returning to the wise man, he related in detail everything he had seen.
“But where are the drops of oil I entrusted to you?” asked the wise man. Looking down at the spoon he held, the boy saw that the oil was gone.
“Well, there is only one piece of advice I can give you”, said the wisest of wise men. “The secret of happiness is to see all the marvels of the world and never to forget the drops of oil on the spoon”.
Romans 12:2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
Ok~ where were we, yes, de Bono, thinker extraordinaire…you really must visit his site on the topic, and then just give it a go. Personally I find it much more thrilling, communicative and productive than the “fast” B lingo many appear to opting for…I think it is the shortcut style of the B language which irks me the most, like using stereotypes, it’s just being too lazy to think outside the square, which is ironic, considering those that choose not to use it [like moi] are labeled lazy and square. Hah! karma caught me in a judgment loop there
I love this world, the gods really are having a belly laugh~
Here is my Happy Home Code so far…(numbers and letters on slips of paper are used with a magnet on the fridge, the code list is beside it for ease of reference)…
1 = I want to ask something
2 = I am angry at you and want to talk later
3 = Ok to your anger and let me know when you want to talk and I’ll see if that time aligns for me
4 = I am very angry with you and don’t want to talk about it~ maybe ever!!!
5 = I acknowledge your anger
6 = I want to check something with you
7 = I have time to talk (15 minutes)
8 = Sending out hugs!
9 = No thank you to hugs right now
10 = I need a friend to just Listen
11 = I want alone time
12 = You are awesome!
13 = What is the matter?
14 = Get over yourself! I think you are saying…
15 = You are not doing your share of the chores as a housemate and I feel taken advantage of
16 = I’m glad we are both alive at the same time
17 = Fuck I hate the world!
18 = Such joy!!! I love the world
A = I have other code ideas I would like to suggest…
Give it a go and let me know how you fare~
Brain and Language Journal
Koan as Ritual
The Secret to Connecting with People