“Action has meaning only in relationship; without understanding relationship, action on any level will only breed conflict.” -J. Krishnamurti
As a teacher, I often find myself wondering how: how am I going to start this conversation? How do I push this young man to grow, while still celebrating who he is? How do ungraded papers reproduce so quickly? The How questions are good questions, but Krishnamurti seems to say there are only hows once you understand the whos involved. On a mechanical level, until I understand the wind and my sail, and the relationship between them, I’m not going to trim my sail very well. (Until I understand the relationship between these ropes and that canvas, I’m not even going to touch the right line). On an interpersonal level, until I know something of who you are, I’m not going to know how to stand beside you. Until you know something of who I am, you’re not going to want me there. The relationship between wind and sail or me and you comes first. No action can be clever or appropriate until I’ve understood that relationship, or built it.
“Action has meaning only in relationship.” We work together, after all–and by the way, I’m pretty glad about that. I’ve split wood (and I like splitting wood), but I’d rather not have to split all the wood to heat my house alone, and build my house alone, and grow my food alone, and then sit alone with noone to talk to about building my house alone. I’ve tried one player monopoly. It didn’t mean very much.
So tomorrow, instead of wondering how, I want to wonder and explore and enjoy who: the person in front of me, the heart and mind that wonders and hopes. I want to celebrate you. I want to share me. I’m grateful that, distant as we are, different as we are, we can come together in a thought or a joke or an endeavor. I’m grateful that you exist. I’m grateful that I get the chance to start to know you. Once we see each other, our own talents and the possibilities of the world open up.