Gandhi on integrity, to fight or flight

Be the change you want to see in the world

Be the change you want to see in the world

We were strolling through San Fransisco, taking photos of all the interesting skyscrapers, having a snack at Ferry building. There he was, bent, but intent on justice, humbly waving but never giving up on what he thought was right. Never fighting back, never afraid of adversaries.

My father visited San Fransisco many years ago and followed another minister on his rounds to the homeless, the desolate, the downtrodden. He warned me, you will find so much misery in that town. As our visit had a different purpose, visiting an academic conference, we were in a nice hotel, saw the sights and had wonderful meals. To us, it was so easy to look at all the homeless people not as a misery to themselves, but as a threat and a danger to ourselves. To us it was a beautiful city….on the surface. To me the constellation of Gandhi and those symbols of power and money was a reminder to be willing to raise questions, to not accept injustice, but also in all things strive for peace and nonviolence. To me, the Bible verse : blessed are the peacemakers, are the way I want to live my life. Sometimes it means not to get involved in a meaningless fight, sometimes it means to be willing to hold our ground, sometimes it means working out a compromise.

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Weekly photo challenge SIGNS

This really is the best auto-repair in town, but if they can not even hang a sign, who will think so?

This really is the best auto-repair in town, but if they can not even hang a sign, who will think so?

I work with people, organizations and businesses, on strategy, values and integrity. Nowadays you’ll find that many businesses promotes their values on websites, signs and posters. That takes courage, as few things are as bad for business as being treated badly as a customer under a sign that reads “we care for you” or something like that.

The sign reads Customer parking in Norwegian. To me it says we care only for your money

The sign reads Customer parking in Norwegian. To me it says we care only for your money

We all know that. With this as my starting point I find it really interesting when signs tell me something the firm would be ashamed to acknowledge, it is just that they are so used to they surroundings that they do not realize what their signs are doing.

Even if every sign is important, together they are confusing

Even if every sign is important, together they are confusing, we just stopped, drove on and hoped for the best

ABSee, a daily post weaving thoughts on seeing and being

IMG_3407 dovre 3A. I sit on a bench, under the eucalyptus trees, looking out over the slough. Silently and majestically a great white egret takes flight and sails over the water. It’s reflection is perfectly mirrored in the silent water. It seems a sacrilege to reach for my camera, and I don’t. Anyway, no matter how I captured this moment I would not be able to convey the glory and the mystery of the moment. You had to be there, so go! Find a bench, a silent spot, and stay in what you see.

IMG_3332 VINGROMB. We are driving through the french countryside, approaching the swiss border, as the traffic comes to a sudden halt. Soon there are long lines, and we settle in for some waiting time. Hot and boring to everyone it seems. This is many years ago, I was fourteen, with my first camera and film and developing had to be taken from my pocket-money. Which means I was very careful about what I shot. I roll down the window and look around, curious as I am. Then, close by, I see an old tree, golden grasses at its foot, a tumble-down fence, and two brown horses, silently eating grass, not going anywhere, not caring about all the tourists who think their day is ruined. I take their picture, out of the window. It turned out just as peaceful as I remembered it. I still have it, it still reminds me to look for the silent spot in the middle of chaos.

IMG_3378 Dovre 1See. We are driving through the norwegian mountains, we parents become aware of our youngest daughter who is looking intently ahead of her. “What is the matter?” We ask. “Don’t disturb me,” she says,” I am making C memories”. “What? What are A and B memories if this is C? “We ask. “Silly you,” she responds.” I said See, not C. I want to take what I see with me, And then I have to look real hard to make see memories.” She still does, and we are still reminded to do it, stay silent, and be in the moment, and see.

Gloomy glum

IMG_2015 stolperI went out in the marches to look for beautiful photos. To me it was a glorious day. It was made even better when I spotted an old-time childhood friend sitting on a stone, dangling his long ungainly legs. Well, Hello Puddleglum! I shouted. He barely looked up. Oh, it’s you is it? I would not come closer if I were you. Why not? I said as I rushed to him and gave him a hug. You know, those cold clear day are sure to bring out a rheumatism he commented, you should stay away from the shore! Do you have rheumatism then? I countered. Not yet, not yet, any day now, he said, with a tone in his voice conveying that a spot of arthritis was all he lacked to make his suffering complete.

IMG_1452 reflection pond I sat down by his side and looked out over a small pond, reflecting reeds, flowers and trees. A frog was squeaking. I bet you are hungry, he said. Well, not really, I answered. Good, as there is no food, he sighed. Life is not all fricasseed eel and frog pie you know, even to you, who are just frolicking along, it isn’t.

IMG_0421 storlidalen 1 I contemplated this for a while, when it suddenly struck me. But Puddleglum, why are you still so gloomy? I thought you were in Aslan’s country now! Oh, but I am, he answered. I used to be afraid of that, thought I would have to sing and dance and that sort of thing. But that’s not my way of being happy. As happy never was a word that came to mind when thinking about my true and trusted friend, I had to ask him.

IMG_2612 storlidalen solAre you happy then? In every bone he said. You know Aslan said, being in his country is being the perfect me, truly fulfilling what he created me to be, so worrying is allowed. This surprised me. How could that be? You know my worrying has always been my way of telling Aslan that I trust him to take care of things, because it sure is too much for me. And now, with this bright new world, and everyone singing, it sure needs someone to keep on the look out for not perfect things. They are not allowed, you know.

IMG_3418 vannliljerSo he let’s you worry? I could not grasp this. Well, he told me I had trusted him, in all adversities, never saying no, even when I thought he was giving foolish orders. So I still get to do that, you would not see the blue sky if everything was blue would you? He told me, that perfect consists of everyone as long as they trust him. In some of us the music of rejoice is trust, in some of us it is singing, as to you it is laughing. You sure you’re not hungry? Well, perhaps a little? Good, because I just made a pot of fricasseed eel, we are in Aslan’s country after all, aren’t we?IMG_2571 mardøla