Monday, November 3, 2014

End and means

Note to Readers:
1. I want to differentiate between an end or an outcome on one hand, and an intention on the other. While we may have an intended goal in doing an action, I am calling that our intention. For the truth is that we cannot know with 100 percent certainty what the end or outcome to our actions will be.
2. This distinction feels true and important to me - because it allows for more honesty, and thus more humility in our actions when we acknowledge that what we have is our intention, and what we don't have is certainty about the intended outcome. Then intention can be very powerful in fusing end and means.


End and means
the head and tail
of a dog
are inseparable

head and tail
to be separated
by the body
of the dog

end and means
to be separate
in time and space

But the means
shape the end
and the end
shapes the means
and each contributes
to the whole

In other words
how we do things
matters enormously
to the quality
of what we do
and to its sustainability
and wider benefit

We can look back
into our own experience
for evidence
of this

How we do things
makes us
who we are
and who we become
as much as
what we do

And what we bring
to any endeavor
above all
is ourselves!

The same tool
can be very different
in quality and impact
based on who
and what attitude
is using it

We see and talk about
the big movements
of life
but we live and experience
the small subtle

We measure and manage
the tangible things
in life
but we are measured and managed
by the intangible

So to summarize,
we are shaped
by our every action
and our every choice;
each of them
who we are
who we become

And in turn,
who we are
what choices
open up to us

And who we are
the nature and impact
of the actions
we take
and the tools
we use

This is the
indelible connection
end and means
tool and tool-user
action and doer
choice and chooser