May your days be … interesting.
Well, these are. On the one hand, all the noise: so much to know about, react to, purchase, attempt. On the other, the calls to unplug, retreat (which are, ironically, often delivered along similar paths as the first batch of data). Both are loud, both insistent–but when do we engage? When do we withdraw?
Ask the questions in a more personal space: when a job ends, when a colleague (or competitor) accuses, when a friend grows distant, when a hope emerges or shrivels. Does the situation call for a passionate response, or a more zen-like, ‘whatever’?
Back when bikes only had ten speeds, I read an article by Eugene Peterson in Leadership Journal. In it, Mr. Peterson pulled a line from T.S. Eliot to encourage the paying and withholding of attention. Teach us to care and not to care, ran Eliot’s phrase, and Peterson’s commentary on it lodged deep.
I find myself going back to that pithy line often. When people insist I demonstrate the passion they have for an item or an issue, I ask: does this deserve the same level of involvement from me? When I’m inclined toward apathy about a cause or a concern, I wonder, should I be more engaged? And when facing a change or some challenge, I try to figure whether I should step up the intensity of my caring, or dial back to benign indifference.
No easy answers, but a couple of good questions lingering as I go through these interesting days.