Carol A. Hand
“Know the Tao
Without leaving your doorstep
See its face
Reflected in the window
To seek it outside
Is to leave it behind.”
(Dreyer, 1990, The Tao of Inner Peace, p. 49)
I’m grateful for the almost five year respite I’ve had to simply observe life from the safety of my little home on the outskirts of a city. Living simply, alone, has given me an opportunity to contemplate many things, including the meaning of praxis. It’s not enough to acquire wisdom and knowledge without action. It is truly unwise to act without knowledge. And it’s hubris to assume that one has the answers for others. One needs to engage with others in dialogue to uncover meaning and possibilities and play a role in building authentic collaborative transformative actions.
“It is not enough for people to come together in dialogue in order to gain knowledge of their social reality. They must act together upon their environment in order critically to reflect upon their reality and so transform it through further action and critical reflection.” (Paulo Freire)
Blogging has helped me begin the processes of contemplation and re-engagement with the world. It’s helped me remember another time when I set off with little more than the clothes on my back and an infant daughter to begin the journey.
Commune Life: 1973
Ultimately, that journey taught me many things. It helped me realize how important it is to share what we’ve learned with others, simple though that knowledge may be. I don’t need to travel far. I just need to be willing to reach out to others. To share knowledge, wisdom and skills honed by overcoming challenges and surviving suffering by offering what I’ve learned to others in whatever ways I can while respecting their perspectives and learning from them.
I’m grateful for the technology that makes it possible for us to join together to understand and resolve the divisions that keep us apart so all people, everywhere, can join in joyful song to call into existence the life of peace and community we are all meant to share.