…the vocation of being human…

“Do I feel a vocation to be fully human? “- Margaret Wheatley

Margaret Wheatley in her book, Turning to one another: Simple conversations to restore hope to the future, engages her readers in the magic of conversation by starting off with a question:  ‘Do I feel a vocation to be fully human?’

On one level the question is kind of silly.  We don’t have a choice.  So why bother?  But that perspective ignores the very word she puts before us, “Do I feel a vocation to be fully human?”

In the last couple of posts, I explored different versions of “the self”:  true self / false self; Gallwey’s – Self 1 or Self 2;  our imagined self or remembered self, our privileged self or human self.  And after all that discussion, I’m finding Margaret Wheatley’s question to be very poignant.   Do we really feel a vocation to being human?

Of course, I think we do and I know it’s not easy.  The reason I’m drawn to adaptive transformations is the degree to which Margaret Wheatley’s question really represents a choice.  We can choose true self over false self; we can choose Gallwey’s – involuntary ‘Self 2’ over the more distracted ‘Self 1,’ or our imagined self over our remembered self, or our human self over our privileged self. 

And isn’t that really why we grow anyway?  To make a choice.  To be bigger than the person we were just yesterday.

Wheatley’s point about conversations, of course, is absolutely dead on.  Conversations take courage; they take practice; they need a willingness to be confused and curious; a willingness to be disturbed.  How willing are you to be disturbed?

I know that “imagination” is part of our conversation.  I know that “image values” are part of our vocation and that image values play a role in how you “show up” when we have that conversation.  I know that it takes a fearless kind of courage to look squarely at what makes us fully human.   

I choose a path of ‘suspended disbelief,’ a path that opens me up to the spaciousness of being my own creator. And I choose that knowing that the true, involuntary, imagined, and human part of me believes more about the future than the past, more about this moment than any other. 

What do you choose?  And why do you choose it?  Your answer gets to the heart of what you trust and engage in.  Can you be engaged in what you imagine and what you remember?  Can you explore images that begin to answer that?  Is there a future, there  – in those images?  Can we begin to imagine that future together?

Thanks for listening!


2 responses to “…the vocation of being human…

  1. A related, but almost opposite perspective is “Do you see life as it is?”

    I was at my meditation class last night listening to a talk on perceiving vs thinking. She gave the example of looking at a flower, enjoying it, seeing it (perception), vs the racing mind (thinking) that is filled with thoughts about the flower like ” How big are the petals?” “Would this look good in my living room?” Can I grow this in my garden?”.
    She said very clearly that thinking is important and necessary, but cultivating not thinking can create a certain spaciousness in the mind that can open us up in new ways. Just thoughts…

  2. I like the question: “Do you see life as it is?” And I like the thought that spaciousness comes from thinking and from not thinking. Being fully human is a very Zen like place. But to even achieve that there must be some image that holds and guides one to that very Zen like place. Thanks for the comment!

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