Monday, August 16, 2010

issue oriented

I was watching a TV show the other night with my younger son -- a 'documentary' about soldiers taking Special Forces training. The exercise at hand involved six or eight guys whose problem was to move an 800-pound barrel of explosives (actually water) from where they were to another point on their maps.

There were several teams, each with five poles and four tires. The problem was not just how to move the 'explosives;' the problem was also to figure out the best way to do it and to get everyone to back the effort.

Besides the trouble each team had working up some kind of rolling sling for the 'explosives' -- something that would roll without having the tires cant so much as to be useless -- there was ego-tripping. Separating individual opinions and self-worth from the job at hand proved extremely difficult.

I didn't see the end of the show, but was struck by the humanity of the problem -- trying to put the issue before preferences and self-esteem. Not easy, but certainly worth trying ... for ourselves and our spiritual practice, I think.

Where to draw the lines. Where the lines get blurred. It's a tough nut.

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