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May 21st, 2021
The topic of honor can breed an unhelpful sensitivity. When a sense of honor over extends and spills into grounds where it’s not exactly useful, it begets a certain seriousness that is limiting. As a means for protection, it cuts off an ability to take an entire variety of risks and chances because the risk is looking silly, stupid and getting embarrassed.
This might actually be a sign that honor isn’t the thing at work here. Perhaps it’s insecurity masquerading as honor, but the more valuable track is to explore the nature of the silly risk. What actually is at stake when there’s a possibility of looking like a fool? Even if the embarrassment actually occurs, there’s the further opportunity to demonstrate how one deals with that dreaded circumstance of being at the center of a dark circle of attention.
How much more impressive is it to witness someone take a chance, embarrass themselves and then continue on, unfazed, and even enlivened by the experience? This is freedom: to let that which truly does not matter, slide.
At the heart of it this is an ability to prioritize objects of attention. A depressing and often depressed majority are holding their attention to a kind of fire, concentrating on unhelpful things in unhelpful ways: it’s not letting unimportant things slide. The person who has taken a chance and looked like a fool but refuses to let their attention be captured by that aspect of the experience is simply choosing to actively pay attention to more worthy objects of attention - usually the present, which no longer contains that past embarrassing event.
The person who can muster this kind of control and freedom opens up a field of opportunity and more avenues to navigate that landscape. Where others, over concerned with a sense of seriousness about their image in the perception of others, automatically fail to consider paths that might contain the heat of embarrassment. The wisdom of the fool lies in the ability to travel the shorter rather, less travelled because of all the people on the sides, watching.
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