3 February 2018

The Duality of Peace and the Practice of Business

by Andrew

Each of my friends individually have told me, that they don't have conversations like they have with me with anyone else. Which is a compliment of course. And so, I'm wary because, cautious,—of those who sing your praises in general—though always grateful for the kind words. My conversations are not even so great anyway, I know. It's only maybe that theirs are too often so shallow, that even a dim light appears bright to them in the darkness.

But mostly anymore, I only have these types of conversations with my dad. The friends are busy. And these conversations of which I'm speaking are conversations below the surface, let's call it. A lot of talk I find anymore with these busy friends is just chatter,—dribble—remarking on this and that as it happens, surface nonsense, commenting on some currently new glib event occurring in pop-culture, some celebrity gossip, news, a TV show, a sports event, something on social media posted by some friend or family member, or something-or-another. And then they must jump into their car and zoom-off to carry-on the drivel elsewhere, their little bit of spittle exhausted, uncomfortable in the emptiness of any actual thought.

So I talk to dad. He has no choice anyway. Parents naturally have unending patience for their kids, afterall.

It was right round Christmas-time, just before, we were texting, dad and I. He was sending direction after direction. Be to Grandma's by this time. Bring a dish. Bring this dish. Do this. Do that. Bring an extra present for the white elephant. Wrap it. Make sure it's under $25. You're in charge of the ice. Grab a bag or 2. And don't forget the bread. Sorry, he said. Just relaying the orders I was given to give to you. Aunt so-and-so set it all up. She's bringing the drinks. Uncle this-and-that is baking-up dessert. Your sisters are bringing this, your cousins that.

I texted back, that this is ridiculous. I'll go to Grandma's and cook the damn ham or the turkey or whatever myself. Look at us all anymore. We'll all haul it all in to Grandma's, like it's a barbecue or a picnic, and then haul it all out a couple hours later. And we miss the whole point of the holidays altogether, stressing about this and that, worrying about what to bring, rushing round to get it all, hurrying to make it in time. Look, nevermind all that. We should all be at Grandma's together, preparing whatever there's to prepare together, spending time together. That's the point. Where's this center anymore? Whoever's got us doing all this nonsense separately, running all round doing this and that, has us doing it all wrong. These things must be lived. You can't just go through the motions, throwing a bunch of stuff together, hoping for the best. You do it, or you don't. You don't burn yourself out in preperation for an event you hope goes off one way or another. You live it. And it goes however it goes.

So true, he said. But some people just like to be in-charge and hand-out orders. Just go with the flow.

So to Twitter I went, feeling inspired. "Control and power is like yin and yang with content and happiness. And it's content and happiness we crave—even those in control and power." Control and power is business. Content and happiness is peace.

I've never been on that business end. I've no idea what it's like. I've cultivated peace by natural disposition.

But I was thinking. Maybe I want to go into business. Why not? Well, how would I do that? It seems so vicious. That's not me. And I thought of this yin and yang tweet I'd made.

That's it! What are the opposite qualities of peace? You know peace, don't you? You say. So flip it. And those opposite qualities of peace will make well for business.

But duality is a tricky thing. Are white and black really opposites? Or is white actually opposite to chicken nuggets? The mark is easily missed, because choosing the correct opposite is so difficult. And even if I do come to define these qualities of peace, to discover their opposites is really just a shot in the dark.

But it's something. A place to begin at least maybe, if indeed I was interested in beginning some business venture. And something is better than nothing. It's an interesting idea I think anyway.

I've heard it said, that Gandhi was a very formidable foe. Probably because he had cultivated peace so highly. And I wonder then, did he only flip his virtue, of which he must have been extremely aware in the direction of peace, and apply it to his business-dealings? Cultivating one direction to an extreme, if you can apply the opposite virtues to the other direction, then, even without practice in that opposite direction, you can find success. And in the meantime, you skip the whole grey area between each extreme too, the power of duality properly harnessed.

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