Here at the frontier, the leaves fall like rain. Although my neighbors are all barbarians, there are still two cups at my table.

Ten thousand flowers in spring, the moon in autumn, a cool breeze in summer, snow in winter. If your mind isn't clouded by unnecessary things, this is the best season of your life.

~ Wu-men ~

Friday, September 30, 2005

A Few Weeds in the Garden

In one of his lectures, Zen Master Shunryu Suzuki once said that as having a few weeds in one's garden would serve to make one a better gardener, having a few weeds in one's practice would improve one's practice.

I'm inclined to hink that having a few weeds in one's life isn't all that bad.

Several years ago, I worked for a different company than the one I work for now. The man I worked for and I had a terrible rift. I left the company. Years pass. He rose through some layers of management, getting divorced along the way; and not one of those happy, story book divorces either.

His promotions required him to move out of state, away from his kids, which he did; only to have a change in the upper management of the company cause him to lose his job.

Out of work. Away from his family. Nearly a year passes.

I'm asked to interview a candidate for a sales manager position in our office. Someone I wouldn't work for, but would be working with. Guess who I'm sitting across from.

We're both a little older, a little thicker, a little thinner, a little grayer. We talk about the past, and the future. I'm pretty blunt with the way I felt about the past, and I hear his side of things. He really is the best candidate for the job. I have doubts about his character, and I tell him so: both that I think he's the best but I have my doubts.

I tell my superiors what I think. It was within my power to torpedo him. The company wouldn't want to bring on someone new, only to lose someone they've invested time and effort in; someone they like.

We'll be starting to work together soon. I see this as a chance to see what kind of person I am.
To see if my philosophy of life so espoused means anything, or is just so much hot air.

A few weeds in one's garden aren't so bad at all.

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