The Wright Way

The Wright Way

Tuesday, May 27, 2014


I’ve written many times about the random chaos of the cosmic sea around every activity we undertake, and I’ve drawn some unsubstantiated conclusions from cosmic alignments, orderings and the part each and every thread in the fabric of our lives goes into making up our experience and perception.

When I talk to people about the ‘amazingness’ that brings us to the here and now – the very present moment in our life – the responses I get fall into what could be described as a pattern spectrum. This ranges from the wide-eyed ‘spacey’ look at one end to the curled lip ‘what-a-load-of-crap’ retort at the other.

The truth about every response, however, is that it is – in so many ways – a microcosm of our world view, our map of the world. The way we perceive our journey across the vast cosmic sea is encapsulated in where we are placed on that particular aforementioned pattern spectrum.

The Family Tree

The family tree is good illustration, and when expanding on the unique power associated with every NOW moment, it really can make people reconsider their place in the scheme of things.

Although the random alignment of our parents’ lives that shaped the crucible of our very existence upon this Earth is often quite jaw-dropping in itself, we get a real sense of the amazingness of the from-NOW-toward continuum when we go back a generation to our grandparents.

Here, before they meet, are the equally unique lives of four individuals. Their seemingly random ‘coming together’ in different places and different times, puts us where we are today. It is stunningly simple, and yet extremely complex.

And if we go back further generations our presence in the now becomes even more amazing. Their lives back then have a huge significance in our lives right now and, by the same token, our lives right now have a huge significance on those of our children and grandchildren.

Random influence

We may not consider – in microcosm – the relevance of the detail of our lives upon those around us, yet it is there every single day.
“My life changed the day I met xxxx,” is a statement of huge significance – and for each and every one of us, our lives are full of such statements.
Of course xxxx may be a person, or a book, film, concept, ideal etc. Influence is what we make it – and that goes for the responses I get on that aforementioned pattern spectrum as well.

The curled-lip responder has not been influenced by ME to go on an inner conceptual search, yet he will be influenced by something or someone else and probably very soon – if my understanding of ‘random’ cosmic events serves me correctly!
The wide-eyed, ‘spaced-out’ responder will be hugely influenced by ME, and perhaps in ways they have no conscious perception of either. Now, this raises some possible questions about responsible influence. And these questions concern all of our encounters with others at THAT end of the spectrum. Such folk do not hang a sign around their neck that says, “Very susceptible to easy influence,” and so we only know how influential we are – particularly for them – when we see their response. Even when we don’t see a response, I know that seeds have and are being sown that may well germinate and later become influence.

Self influence

The thing is, influence is happening to us in our every conscious moment. When our eyes open we commence to influence ourselves in an unending stream called thought and thought processing. Our responses to everything influence our continued orientation to every waking moment. If we are feeling good or if the sun is shining, those responses influentially orient us in a certain direction. We’ll perhaps describe this as ‘colouring our day’ with feel good or sunshine – we are making our day more vivid, with those responses.

If something negative comes along then our susceptibility to respond to THAT influence is tested – and this is where our state of wellbeing (our conditioning) can play a significant part. If our conditioning is below par then we will be more susceptible to negative influence; likewise if our conditioning is at a good level then we’ll be less susceptible.

The biggest element to self influence and susceptibility I believe is our world view, our map of the world. The way we perceive our journey across the vast cosmic sea not only places us on that particular aforementioned pattern spectrum, it also calibrates our susceptibility to influence, and self influence in particular.

Now, how I arrived at that belief from a position of susceptible self influence would occupy a book in itself, so I will avoid the temptation to fill these remaining lines with even a tempting prologue or overture – save perhaps referencing this scene from Forrest Gump:-

Shoes, Chocolates, and Momma

In terms of the microcosm of Forrest Gump’s life, his biggest influence was undoubtedly his Momma and her particular metaphors of shoes and boxes of chocolates. He never questioned the vast cosmic sea or was susceptible to any of the vagaries of a simple though dramatic life. We’d describe him as uncomplicated, almost simple – yet was this down to his influences and his susceptibility, or was it the way his brain was ‘wired’?

And, for us, leading our over-complicated and complex lives, is this too down to our influences and our susceptibility – is this about the way our brains our ‘wired’?

What I do know is that on the from-NOW-toward continuum, the NOW is both a landing and a launch pad. And like all landing and launch pads, there should be nothing lying around and the decks should be clear.

The “Dove from Above”

So all this profound and microcosmic pondering came about during a recent promenade along the local sea front where I live.

It was a very pleasant afternoon, the sea reflected many shades of blue, a light zephyr blew and late spring sunshine bathed all the holidaymakers and I in a frame of relaxation and pleasure without time constraints.

I was queuing to get an ice cream from “Mr Hockings” van and, after some time working my way forward in the scheme of things of queues, like that, I reached second place. My mouth watered, I licked my lips in anticipation and I got my change ready to pay.

The lady in front of me had presumably drawn the short straw, and was buying a variety of choices for the members of her family – six in all, as it happened. And then, as random as the cosmos can be, IT happened!

A silent, yet probably gleeful, seagull passed overhead and blessed her with unerring accuracy.

Her reaction to this aerial box of chocolates said everything about her life and her shoes. The ice creams were unscathed – only she had been hit. She asked the ice cream man for some paper napkins and wiped herself down, loaded up with her cargo and set off. 

Not once had she shown any susceptibility to adverse reaction. 

Would I be next in the firing line? Well, the cosmos is as random as we want to make it!

Friday, May 23, 2014

When the Chips are Down

Not long ago I went to get a ‘convenience’ portion of chips from a local establishment I don’t normally frequent. I only really went there because it’s a walking distance away and I was more driven by convenience than anything else.

There was a handful of other patrons waiting for their orders to be completed but my “portion of chips, please,” was speedily executed. I watched as he shovelled chips into a polystyrene tray, but it was only a casual observation rather than qualitative data gathering. My mind was elsewhere.

After wrapping up my purchase he stuck out a frier’s paw. “That’ll be £1.60.” I’d already seen the price up on the menu board so I’d checked the change in my pocket and, as luck would have it, had exactly £1.60 ready to hand over. I reached over and emptied the contents of my hand full of change into his outstretched mitt and politely waited as he counted it – rather than just making for the door.

“Oi, mate,” he bellowed in stentorian admonishment, slapping what I thought was a penny on the counter. “Can’t accept that. It’s not a penny.” Was this performance for the other ‘punters,’ I wondered, as he clearly was having no truck with my attempt to diddle him out of 1p. He further pointed out it was 1/100th of a euro – and I needed to give him something of proper value to make up the difference. His podgy digits rested on the counter and the index finger beckoned and waved at me to ‘cough up’ sharpish. I slipped him a £20 note and held out my hand so he could give me back my £1.59 change.

In Retrospect

You know those instances – after the event – when you think, “If only ... Why didn’t I do this, or why didn’t I say that?” This was one of those instances.

And the thing is, with this particular instance, there was a whole raft of alternatives which – had I been switched on – I would have, could have, should've chosen!

Sarcasm - I could have slowly and pointedly examined the change HE gave me for my £20 note saying, “Better check this closely for buttons,” or some such thing.
Take flight - I could have just walked out having paid £1.59 + 1 cent and waited to see whether he would bother to chase after me.
Act as if foreign – Pretend not to understand him and then insist that “IS  Penny – why you no like?”

And these are just three that come to mind! My retrospective of choice, however, came down to this ...

The chips I had casually watched being shovelled earlier did not look entirely appetising – though, let’s remember, I’d gone there for convenience. The quality of their raw materials – the spuds – left a lot to be desired, and many of the chips had black eyes and other marks. When Mr Tuck tossed the 1 cent coin back at me I should have unwrapped the package, carefully picked over what passed for chips and removed all the black marked and inedible ones to a neat pile on his counter. I would have, thus, left him with a heap of “un-merchantable” chips to the value of ... let’s say 1 cent, and that would have made us quits. 

Sadly, these all passed as figments of my imagination – yet wouldn’t it be nice if I could draw upon a resource that would keep me switched on to being smart with my chosen response, like that!

There was an interesting book I read a couple of years ago by Olympic athlete Steve Backley called “The Champion in All of Us”. In it he described the various pathways taken by a coach and four character athletes he was working with called “Would’ve”, “Should’ve”, “Could’ve” and “Did”. Certainly, some of the 12 rules for success he outlined might be useful in helping me raise my “streetwise” game from mere retrospectives to the actual!
In conclusion and after inviting you to ponder – might I ask, in all innocents, “A Penny for Your Thoughts?”