May 30th 2006

copyright© don oddy

~ life is a risky business ~

“We make our own opportunities by asking for them”

Everything we do in society is about inclusion. When we start to make the connections between ourselves and our wider community, we may realise nothing is done in isolation, except what we feel and think in our heads. Sometimes our thoughts and feelings seem to be so different from everyone, we don’t share in case we feel foolish or ashamed or that we might not get our own way. The very nature of our civilised world requires us to include others in our intent and in our needs and wants.

Some of our needs and wants might be fanciful and we keep them to ourselves, sometimes what we need and want is so far from reality, we keep it inside for we know it will never happen. We are necessarily inclined to share what we think and feel we might get, rather than share dreams which cannot ever come true.

We start our denial of the possible very early in life, this process of denial enables great imagination in many and great frustration in others or both. To have imagination and explore the wonders of what might be, it makes us feel closer to our true selves, the inside you or I, and less close to our world when there is a difference we cannot share from our imagination. This denial can be a devious ploy on our part to seem to be part of the world when we feel quite different, we feel less included and not as close to belonging.

And we like to belong. To be included and to be part of society because we are built to be social beings and connected. It is in our nature and in our nurture to be a part of the world and not excluded. Exclusion puts up barriers and puts up boundaries. When we feel excluded our sense of isolation is greater by our deeds and by our needs and wants.

In society we can be excluded for many reasons, because of our feelings and thoughts, because of our behaviour, because we don’t like what society is or because society does not like what we are. There are many prejudices we experience, for all manner of reasons. So inclusion is a primary drive for us humans, inclusion means love and acceptance, exclusion may lead to hate of ourselves or of those we might wish to join.

It is a devil inside, and a constant worry for many how to blend in, how to become loved and acceptable. Some though seem to conform and fit in without the slightest worry. They are indeed fortunate and do not experience any deep anxiety about their place in the world. Many however do feel these worries and cannot ever get a grip on how they might fit in. Fear grips the anxious mind as it seeks inclusion and everything is fearful when exclusion might result.

As we grow and develop we take risks, we share our vision and share our feelings and thoughts, the more we find acceptance, the more we feel included. The more we are sensitive, the more likely our journey to inclusion takes on greater and more difficult endeavours.

Yet in the most part, we humans are so similar, we might wonder at our worry. And mostly our worry comes from what we see and hear from others. We need our acceptability and yet we find it hard to become a part of society. We find the journey arduous and difficult. Or we might even be so opposed to our society, we will risk exclusion and be isolated. We never know until we are there in the moment.

Inclusion has its risks and exclusion has its risks. Yet we come to realise the real risk is not sharing and not finding out. We being so similar, we will find the same worries expressed when we share, we will find the same insecurities and the same self doubt. And we will most often see as we go that the risks of not sharing far outweigh the risks of sharing.

Sharing our inside us, the real us helps us make better and better choices who we connect with in our societies, it helps us make good our relationships inside our families and with our social groups. We inform our choices and make good our connections to those we value most of all because they value us.

The journey to inclusion is as good as our response and as good as our risk taking. We get good and fearless the more we take risks and we find truly where we belong. Mankind though as we become more adept, become more inclined to preference, more inclined to tolerance, then we find our true nature and place in the world. That is in an ideal world.

We live in an imperfect yet perfectly good world and as we come to see this, we see we need negotiate and include as much on the outside which people see and accept as we need. There are hidden depths to all of us. For we are indeed murky creatures full not only of good qualities, but every bad quality we can imagine, we are everything. It is our choice to accept or reject our qualities, our feelings and our needs and wants from our living with others.

When we recoil from association from others we might be rejecting great numbers where we have no common ground, and we may be included in particular communities because of our outlook and inclinations. We find ourselves out and others too as we risk and share, risk and accept, risk and reject where we belong.

This is a lifetime opportunity as we get older and bigger and wiser to our true nature. Our risks and inclusion take us where they will.

Many in this world will not risk their truth, choose to be included where they do not fit and conform for a quiet and comfortable life. Others will risk all and rebel, and become what they may. There is always a middle ground for us all, where we rub along with tolerance in our communities and in society. We never think these things out too well, we play with our denial and fears mostly inside us. Just imagine how quickly we might develop as we might need and wish should we adopt a more risky strategy.

And imagine how quickly our exclusion can be if we share too openly and without consideration of our risks.

Our choices are less black and white than any who broker for the truth, the truth will liberate and set us free, it will also find us excluded for sure as we risk so much to find our true path, we are given from nature, and adopted from nurture.

Life is never a black and white scenario. We do make opportunities by asking for them, we need be mindful of what we ask for, to be included and part of society, or to be excluded and rejected. We never know until we start this process.

The bottom line is the more we are honest, the more we can be accepted and included. The more risks we take, and the more fearless we need to be. Fear is a peculiar instrument. Indeed fear is merely a manifestation of our need to survive. We don’t work these things out consciously, we learn from the hard knocks of experience and how our society shapes us.

Heretics are never valued in their present, inclusion is never easy for the free mind, exclusion is a painful reminder. All we need is love to show us the way. Love of self and others, a sort of equal consideration to make our good choices work for us.

Now try living with all that as a conscious process of living and we will choke on it. Realise we do most of this every second and we see the wonder of our mind. And its no wonder it makes mistakes, forgets, reassess and changes as quickly as the blink of an eye.

Usually that first blink of our eye, that gut reaction, it is the right reaction, what follows is our response, learned and honed to live well to our preference.

Trust to instinct and challenge it, that is enough process to get us going, the rest follows as nature and nurture unravel our inclusion and exclusion to our chosen society and community.

And sometimes our choices are not choices, our imperfect, perfect world in the ever present, present moment, renders us powerless over most everything, except our next move our next step, what a life!

Copyright © Don Oddy