First Comes The Self

Saturday 12 April, 2003

Men’s Group. First and foremost is the SELF. Being unrestrained and free to express itself, the self can connect with another self, creating a relationship, inspiration and development. The next step is the content, followed by the how. This will come automatically once the self has been established. If I am emotional then I am into the content when I should be focused on my self. Whatever I do, my self should permeate every aspect of it. The vision of the self must be present in everything we do.

We used this discussion to establish Leon’s vision of himself and his life and then included every aspect of his self in his work memo.

George then raised the prospect of doing physical work. It was a fascinating item because not everyone wanted to do practical work. George made the issue too personal to himself and was left with a situation where it was fast becoming polarised: those who did, against those who did not. In such instances there are people who will be reluctant to speak up and say what is on their mind. How to solve this? Answer: split the meeting into small groups. This gets the silent majority talking and, when groups report back, all comments are anonymous because the people are reporting back as a group rather than speaking up as individuals.

We spent five hours working in the garden. I worked in Leon’s team digging under the path and laying the pipe between the cottages. The other group put three boards on the cottage walls. The first session went well because I verbalised and brought Karaj in to discuss a problem which was then solved in seconds. The second session was not so good because I didn’t verbalise, and the third session went well. Under Leon’s leadership I was free to be effective.

Thoughts on responsibility: I think I should take on responsibility but when I do, I don’t cope well with it and I fuck up. Karaj told me to curb my need to take on responsibility.

For the rest of the evening, until 23:00, we worked on a people’s agenda items:

  • Leon and I typed up his memo from this morning.
  • My role in the organisation and the next steps. Suggestions came from the other members of the group: writing articles, going out with Karaj and meeting and speaking to people. Talking about what we do, a sales director. It will be a challenge for me and people will be skeptical, but I can do it.
  • Simran’s vision: to be of service to his community and family and to be at peace.
  • Ishwar’s job application. He does not meet the requirements but Karaj will make sure he does in 6 months time. Now Ishwar has all the targets and goals he needs to aim for in the next 6 months, yet he is disappointed with the fact that he cannot go for the job now. As always we can see the opportunity because it is not our agenda but he is in it and emotional and blinkered.
  • Dev’s work notes. He has not typed up all that he and Karaj discussed. He has made a good start but no real substance to it. Again he is teasing us.

Summary: As Leon’s leadership and support allowed me to be effective in the garden, so I am effective in all my work because of the support of the men who have made such a good job of taking over here.


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