What is the sound of one hand clapping?
My husband often poses this question at the dinner table, after which our children flail around moving hands and arms to try and create a sound or action that resembles a clap. But, inevitably they are unsuccessful, because a clap requires the striking of two hands together.
What is the sound of one person arguing?
I’m sure we’ve seen someone yelling at the sky or an invisible person. We’ve probably also had our moments of raising our hands to the heavens or screaming at drivers that we know won’t answer back. And we’ve probably been blindsided by others’ screams. Out of nowhere like a hot Southern California Santa Ana wind. Boom! And you are in the path of someone’s unresolved stuff.
But, an argument takes two people. It is not a given that one has to engage when blindsided by the Santa Ana winds.
Years ago, I did a few Tai Chi classes, and the teacher explained that Tai Chi was all about working with energy, channeling energy, transforming energy. To illustrate, he showed a movement that appeared as if one were reaching up to grab a large beach ball. He said, Imagine someone is angry with you, screaming at you. You hold this energy and then you move it past you; you do not let it touch you. And with that, he moved the imaginary ball behind him.
The late Holocaust survivor, writer, psychologist Viktor Frankl said on this subject, Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.
One of the most significant questions to ask oneself repeatedly, to start the morning with and end the day with is, what is my way? What standard am I calling myself to? Who do I want to be? How do I want to live my values? How can I transform the energy around me, and even within me?
I will end with more beautiful words by Viktor Frankl:
For the first time in my life I saw the truth as it is set into a song by so many poets, proclaimed as the final wisdom by so many thinkers. The truth—that Love is the ultimate and highest goal to which man can aspire. Then I grasped the meaning of the greatest secret that human poetry and human
Thought and belief have to impart: The salvation of man is through love and in love.