Skip to main content

Chop Wood, Carry Water

There's a Zen proverb that's been resonating with me lately...

Image result for chop wood carry water

Essentially, what it means to me is similar to the "keep on keepin' on" mantra.  No matter where you are at in life, obstacles you may face, successes you may have, "chop wood, carry water" or "keep on keepin' on".  

You see, a lot of people believe that the end result is what we are working toward, but is it?  Isn't it the work that leads you there the most rewarding and important part of your journey towards the end result or your, dare I say, enlightenment?  

Are we ever in a place in life where we don't ask ourselves whether or not we will be there next year, or the year after?  Sometimes we have a choice in those matters and sometimes we are just along for the ride.

Point is, be in the moment.  If you are chopping wood (so to speak) pay attention to the way the handle of the axe feels in your hand, the smell of freshly cut wood, the sound of the fibers of the wood breaking apart.  If you are carrying water, feel the weight of the bucket against your fingers, pay attention to the water sloshing out as the bucket tries to build a cadence with your step.  Don't watch the clock.  Focus on your work because at the end of the day, the wood will be chopped, the water will be carried and your life will be lived.  




Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Attention Seeker

As an educational leader, there are times throughout the day that I feel like if there were two or three of me, we could actually be getting some things done.  Whether it is responding to emails, attending meetings on and off campus, meeting with teachers or students and doing whatever else comes up throughout the day (I had to remove a dead cockroach from the staff bathroom last Tuesday), it becomes increasingly hard to attend to the task at hand.

Maybe it's just me as I've struggled with attention issues my whole life but I have to think there must be other educators out there who feel the same way.

You are in an ARD meeting, it's 2:00 pm and you know there's a parent phone call you HAVE to make before the bell rings and there's a teacher who needs your support with a student and the last time you checked your email, right before going to the ARD, you noticed Inbox 64, and you just got a call on your radio that there's ANOTHER cockroach in the staff restroo…

Identity First, Then Culture

First, allow me to get this outta the way, real quick like.  

I am, unabashedly, an Indiana University basketball fan to the core of my being.  I grew up in Indiana and in Indiana, if you were raised right, you were raised to be an IU fan.  Unfortunately, the vast majority of my lifetime, they haven't been that great.  I don't remember the national championship in 1987, I was only 4.  

Recently they hired Archie Miller from Dayton University who is known for defense and toughness.  A "grind it out" culture if you will.  He gave an interview  (here) and in the interview, he mentioned something about culture that struck a chord with me this morning.  


“The big thing is to create the first identity opportunity,” Miller said. “Not culture.” I stopped Miller there. Coaches love talking about culture – it might be the most popular buzzword in the profession today. What’s with the avoidance? “I think culture is earned,” he said. “You don’t start talking about culture four weeks …

Punishment - Easier Than Being Held Accountable

I read an article today titled,

Teen coke dealer turns down chance to avoid criminal record
Think about that for a moment.  
The judge offered the young man an opportunity to participate in a Restorative Justice "scheme" in which the boy turned down.  The opportunity to take part in this program, according to the article, would have spared him a sentence and a criminal record.  
You see, when we dole out punishments, it keeps the offender in a passive role.  They are really never held accountable for their wrong - doing.  We think that if we reign down punishment on people they will suffer which means in the future they will be less likely to commit the same offense.  It's simply not true and that school of thought is not backed by evidence.  
Now, while I do not know what this Restorative Justice "scheme" would have looked like, I do know that the young man would have been asked to take a more active role and would have had to likely sit down with some people a…