When overtaken by arrogance, I often make fun of the small-minded and people unable to grasp either the big picture or possibilities.
But I am guilty of another sin – not being able to live in the present. Everything in my life is so scripted. Uptight, wound tightly, defensive to the point I snap, revealing that my supposed easygoing nature masks my inner control freak.
It’s hard dancing to a song when you’re not listening to the beat, not letting the music envelop you. We’re all guilty of ignoring the song that’s playing and instead wondering what will play next, what tune to recommend to the DJ or whether maybe you/your brother/your musician friend could do a better job of it.
Perhaps it wasn’t coincidence I stumbled upon Katie Goodman’s “Improvisation for the Spirit". A self-help book utilising the tools of improv comedy? Pretty novel, I thought and it didn’t hurt the price was marked down at the MPH Warehouse sale.
Goodman describes the first four skills of improv thus:
1. You must be present and listen carefully
2. The pink elephant rule: don’t negate
3. Affirm and add
4. Always be willing to surrender your plans
The second rule stirred feelings of guilt. How often had I shot down ideas without fully listening to them? Ignored thought and just dismissed ideas out of hand without at least giving the person some due consideration?
I suppose one reason people choose to remain ignorant is the truth that the more you know, the more painfully aware you become of how little you actually do know. The process of learning is becoming, for me, a mirror reflecting back my shortcomings.
If I’m still a work in progress, I dread how much work there is yet to be done.