From workshop Maryland 1978
(Bob, yesterday when you were talking about an occupation is what I have and making a contribution is what I do. If I’m alone in a field and walking and enjoying the experience, am I doing or am I having?)
You’re doing at that moment–and you are having. Usually they go together. You are doing what you wanted to do at that moment—just take a walk out to the beautiful sunny field with flowers and trees.
(But I’m not making a contribution.)
Oh yes you are. You’re enjoying yourself and that radiates hundreds of miles, ok? And you also have a very desirable state of being. You have a natural state of your being. You see, basically, always when we are “doing”, the “having” is a byproduct.
Now, had you gone out to be sure you’d “have” a good feeling; you’d be so busy watching to see if you were that you wouldn’t see the flowers.
So we always start with “doing”, but automatically or as a byproduct, we “have”. So if you went out just to take a walk, we’ll say, and enjoy getting out of the house and being out in the open; the byproduct is you have a wonderful feeling, ok? That radiates far away, so it does many things for many people and you are contributing to “Life”–especially you.
Today I went to play piano at a nursing home. Since my sight is limited, I only see the shapes of people. I was unable to find anyone in charge to ask them to bring people to me; and everyone was wandering around carrying out their duties.
My PA was set up for me, and so I sat at the piano and started playing happy rags, boogies and classics. I threw in a couple of sing-a-longs; but there was no response, so I didn’t know “what was going on”. I felt ignored and the inner complaining began.
I observed the inner turmoil and complaints, but ignored them and thought “so what!” The not I’s told me to quit that job, it wasn’t any fun, why waste my time, and on and on.
I still remembered that my partner, X, is always with me no matter what. Then I remembered “the walk”. So I continued to enjoy what I was playing and singing and kept radiating.
After about half an hour had elapsed, the activities director came by and told me that everyone was enjoying it. Whew! That made me feel a little better and I told her that since I couldn’t see the audience I had become discouraged. With no feedback, I was beginning to wonder if anyone even knew I was there.
Pretty soon two sweet ladies in their wheelchairs came close and said they were enjoying it. I was getting somewhat stiff from sitting so I stood up and did an action song and walked around the room. Two daughters were there, each visiting a parent; and they were very enthusiastic about how my performance and the music was affecting their loved ones.
Then as I was leaving and walking down the corridor, a man in a wheel chair said he had been in his room, but he had listened to the music and loved it. And to my amazement, even one of the aids walked by me with enthusiasm and energy and told me how much she had enjoyed it.
So the radiating out a good mood IS a very powerful thing to “do”; and has far reaching effects that perhaps we’ll never even know of–but I’m reminded that the effort is well worth it.