Thursday, 25 February 2010
Dogs and Conflict
I heard, or read, a story of a person who had bought a dog from a breeder. She had grown very fond of the dog and did certainly not want to lose it. The breeder had sent her a contract of sale within which there was a clause that said he retained the breeding rights of the dog. The lady was upset thinking that the breeder could come at anytime and take the dog from her for breeding purposes. She had consulted some lawyer friends and they had all said she had a case. Ready to go down that road she told another friend who advised she make contact and check with the breeder first. She did and discovered that this clause was included in the contract in error. All conflict was resolved.
A friend of mine was giving a talk at a meeting. He was in full flight and feeling very good, thinking the talk was going well. About halfway through a person got up from her seat and left the room in which the meeting was being held. He was concerned about what he had said, what had offended this lady. He kept looking for her to return but she never did, his concentration was lost and the second half of the talk he limped through. At the end they all thanked him but he was aware that he had not given of his best.
As the tea was being served he headed off to see if he could find the lady who had left so that he might apologise to her and put things right. He found her in the kitchen and asked her if she was alright. “Oh yes minister, she said, “I remembered I had left the light on under the urn and was concerned it would boil dry. Then I did not want to interrupt what was a really good talk so I just waited here and heard what I could through the shutter.” A misunderstanding and a conflict that never existed but so easily could have led to bad feeling.
The artist is often at conflict with themselves, nothing is ever as it should be. Conflict can and does always define the final outcome of a venture. It can create aggression or fear, either emotion which can lead to a paralysis. The artist in the midst of inner conflict must remain open to the many options. By harnessing the emotions that can cause conflict we can be even more creative and what could be destructive can become affirming and a joy. This is the way of Tao.