Here at the frontier, the leaves fall like rain. Although my neighbors are all barbarians, and you, you are a thousand miles away, 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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