Musings on Bicycling and Buddhism

Monday, June 18, 2012


Just how versatile are you?  Things are going well, and we’re at the top of the world – well, maybe if not the top of the world, at least things aren’t so bad.  So we go through the days.  But what happens when things don’t go according to plan?  When you can’t do something you’ve been trained to do, have done elsewhere, have the tools to complete – and even people willing to help you – and it doesn’t work.  And no matter how hard you try, or what creative way of approaching it you think of next. It. Still. Doesn’t. Work. 

What then?  If you’ve got the training, the tools, the manpower, the gumption, the guts, the will to work.  But it still doesn’t work.

How versatile are you?  Can you adapt to changing, unhappy, unfulfilling, constantly challenging situations that make you question your own worth?

Can you do it, can you keep going even then?

That, in truth - of course, is really only a question that each person has to answer for themselves, but the point is, to keep willing, to keep daring, again and again and again – even when it starts to look like insanity, even when it starts to feel like insanity – and winning through because you haven’t been defeated by the constant efforts without reward, then that is true versatility.
Versatile come to us from the postulated Latin roots of
versātilis - revolving, many-sided, equivalent to versāt ( us ) (past participle of versāre,  frequentative of vertere  to turn; see verse, -ate1 ) + -ilis -ile

Turning and multi-sided....

How many sides do you have?  Are they all true?  Are they all you?
When we’re pushed beyond what is comfortable into what is necessary for our growth we can get cranky, and suddenly a functioning adult wants to have a temper tantrum like a small child.  But can we turn?

In Buddhism, Buddhahood is liked to a many faceted jewel of limitless worth.  The term human revolution, meaning a fundamental transformation in the life of an individual being contributive to a transformation of society and the times  - also has a turning semantic aspect.

There are many facets to the human life, there is deeper stuff here than the frustrations of what we cannot do right now.  (And that doesn’t mean we won’t be able to do them someday!)

So rather than have the temper tantrum, as momentarily satisfying as that might be; stand up, fight on -  never give up, show versatility – show the many faceted jewel of limitless worth that is the human condition, that is you.

By never giving up, we win. 

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Tour de What You Will by Jessie Calkins is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License