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To Be, or Not to Be

Good old Hamlet took five acts to search for the answer, and yet, in the end, he never truly made up his mind. Every time he did act, was always as a reaction to the external circumstances. In the meantime, he analyzed to death (pun intended 🙂 ) all the consequences of this versus that course of action. And then, on the other end of the spectrum, you have Jidu Krishnamurti’s famous “do it or don’t do it, but get on with it”. So, which one is it going to be?

What if it is not what we choose to do in this world but how we do it? I am certainly not the first one to point this out, but I had some lessons hitting straight home earlier this year on that front. Only, my question du-jour was more in line with: to go to a conference, or not to go? If I went, I’d have to deal with some irrelevant and self-aggrandizing physics educators. If I didn’t go, I’d have to come up with something else to appease my boss for my yearly professional evaluation. Do you see the commonality in both choices? Regardless of what I was going to choose, I was going to be bitter and resentful all the same.

And that is when it finally hit me: I was constantly in the negative. Both choices were wrong because I wasn’t making them out of a position of peace and non-judgment. I was judging, and judging so much, that it was destroying my inner peace. So, I paused and asked myself what would give me pleasure either way. I could go to the conference and present a talk because I enjoy talking in a public setting. And, I could choose not to go and stay home instead while enjoying my precious summer vacation. Now, I had two choices and both were appealing. 

For the curious, I did eventually choose to go to the conference and present a talk.  I went on my own terms with realistic expectations and had a good time. I also received somewhat of a closure. The bitterness and resentment that had been accompanying me to conferences for the past 20 years dissipated. 

I would love to tell you how enlightened I am now and how I make the choice for peace all the time. Sadly, that is not the case. I still make decisions every day, most of them being the usual to-be-or-not-to-be’s. In the rare instances when I do remember about the peace and non-judgment, however, it feels great and leaves me wanting for more. 

Want to explore more about peace and non-judgment? Check out Ken Wapnick’s video “Is Peace in Your Awareness?“. When I grow up, I want to be him … 🙂


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