Receiving is: empathizing, listening, looking and seeing things as they really are.
Photo by Max Brown on Sxc.hu
This will ring a bell. Once again you’re at the supermarket doing your weekly shopping. And as always you have little time. Luckily, each article on your list...whether it’s a sack of potatoes, a bottle of wine or a pack of washing powder...won’t take much deciding. You’re a rational human being and you make your decisions consciously.
Midnight Oil sang about it in ‘One Country’: one country, one vision, one people. They meant Australia, didn’t they? In between the lines the astute listener will pick up the subtleties: one movement, one moment, one difference. Differences, that’s what the song’s about. Essentially there are no differences between countries and people. Still, misplaced, nationalistic sentiment continues to pop up its shameless head. From deep-rooted xenophobia and from the inability to change, we call for more stringent immigration requirements for economic refugees, migrant workers. The demagogues cry: ‘They’re taking our jobs’ and the ignorant among us cry along. The Netherlands is our country and it belongs to the Dutch, they reason. But what are The Netherlands? Who are the Dutch?
Foto: Jonathan Kendrick op Sxc.hu
After two years of worrying, reasoning, considering other people’s warnings and listening to my fears, I finally had the courage to start my own business. In hindsight I wonder why I tormented myself for so long. For, I have always believed that, just like Paulo Coelho’s Warriors of the light, it was my nature to leap into the river of passion without hesitating. How come I didn’t have the courage to leap then?
Just imagine bumping into a brand new white Q7 (an overgrown jeep-like car) at your local Audi dealer on a rainy Saturday afternoon. You thank your lucky stars. Finally the time’s come to treat yourself to the car of your dreams. After you’ve taken her for a one hour spin, the salesman dabs the drool from the steering wheel and sits himself down opposite you at the negotiating table. Clearly shaken, the poor man spills his cappuccino all over his smooth tailor-made suit. He looks at you as if you’ve just suggested replacing the engine with the engine of the twenty year old banger in which you tugged along to the showroom. He’s laughing. Because, it was a joke, right? Uh-uh. You were dead serious.