Good, Better, Best, Never let it rest!

dsc_5995GOOD, BETTER, BEST … NEVER LET IT REST!

I’ve moved from a crazy culture that seems always to be in an urgent hurry, to one that isn’t.  And I’m loving it.  I tried the good, better … but was never the ‘best’ – of course!  So like a dog chasing its tail, I never got to where I (thought I) wanted to be.  I didn’t get that prized tenure, I was judged ‘not good enough’ for every job I applied for.  I saw the people that got that prize, and it didn’t look like much fun.  Because there is always another hurdle before you get to the next prize.  And another after that.

I don’t know a lot about Buddhist culture but it seems to me that in comparison to the one I’ve left, where you must achieve NOW! or at least in this life time – after all, it’s the only one we’ve got, there is a different way.  If I don’t get it right in this lifetime, I’ve got another chance.  Another lifetime.  I will try, but I won’t have lost anything by not reaching that prize.  Because I can try again in the next life time.  And the next.  And the next…

I interpret this to be equivalent to making the most out of what we have – now.  To see merit from good actions, leading a good life, rather than simply to judge and be judged on ‘success’ or ‘failure’.

Slow down.  Live a good life.  Be kind.  Be generous.  Do the best you can. And forgive yourself.

Volunteering Overseas (take 2)

Since returning from my first stint as a ‘volunteer’, I have wanted to do it again – but as a wiser, more patient and experienced individual.  Twenty years later I reapplied, with vigour.  After travelling through SE Asia with my sister (2014-15), I decided to look for possibilities in either Myanmar (Burma) or Laos.

So here I am, 22 years later, about to head off to Savannakhet in Laos, to try to get it a bit more ‘right’ this time around.  Definitely wiser and more experienced – more patient?  Only time will tell.  I believe that I got the job partly through being absolutely honest about mistakes that I’ve made and learnt from.  I’m going in with my eyes wide open, and I have a lot of varied experiences to draw from to help me through.  I’d like to think these qualities could have got me an ongoing position to continue doing what I do now, working with pre-service teachers in a university but no, it seems that research/publishing status, youth and ‘potential’ are the pre-requisites, rather than anything I have to offer.  So leaving my ten+ years in sessional/casual positions in the university system is not difficult – really, who would notice?laos-map-savannakhet-300