Last Blog I told you about my beautiful Nanna who was very very sick. We were told to help her be comfortable and wait for the inevitable. Well with our typical family style the exact opposite happened. She was offered something and she grasped it with both hands, armed with faith and gave it her best. 3 weeks later and there is a new improvement each day. We are feeling truly blessed. What she received instigated some thoughts, ponderings and perspectives…
There is this word in our world that is used and overused, and it is the precise measurement of it, the lack of it or the abundance of it that makes all the difference. This one word transcends all barriers and is a part of who we are, what drives us, holds us back or even evades us. Are you guessing I am going to say money? No, not money. The “world” would have us think its money that rules us, reigns over us or lifts us high. But it isn’t. Honestly.
We use this word I am talking about so much that I think it may have even lost its meaning a little bit along the way. All language comes from somewhere, its roots are deep in our history and linguistics, I am a bit of a dork and I love etymology, or the study of origins of words. Somewhere in time there was a need to express something, and a word evolved to describe it and to communicate what we needed. Riveting stuff? (please don’t laugh at me- seriously I like this stuff and I am coming out of the nerdy closet today- loud and proud)
This word started out as a little Latin Ob meaning “towards,” then grew into Portu meaning “port” or “passage” it then travelled to Greece where it added extra meaning Poros “an opening”. A chance. A time or set of circumstances that makes it possible to do something. What is the magic word? – Opportunity. I like to think of it as a moment in time when all the circumstances work in together and a porthole is opened to take a chance on a path, a secret passage way has revealed itself. But do we always see it? Are we always awake enough to see this passageway, this path or opening? Are we in the right place to know it for what it is? Because they aren’t all good doorways, portholes and passages, some of them are destructive.
One thing is very true; they are everywhere and it’s the negotiation and recognising of them that makes all the difference.
Have you ever met a cranky person over the age of 55, who scowls and is never happy? Never happy with how much money they have or where they live, what they do, what the weather is like…everything is BLAH. What you have there is a perfect case of Missed Opportunity. Either they never saw the pathways and passages or they did and it was too late. The lack of Opportunity inevitably leads to discomfort, resentment, disillusion and bitterness.
Have you ever heard of a person who self-destructs and uses destructive acts to hurt themselves and others? Who develop bigotry towards those who have the appearance of “having it all.”? They actually resent others for doing well whilst at the same time perpetuating their own pain? Again, a classic case of lack of opportunity. They have not been given the opportunity for healing, or perhaps self worth or love. That opportunity has slipped by them.
I could go on and on. You can see in society evidence of Generational lack of opportunity. Generations that aren’t made aware of what is there right in front of them, a mask over their eyes. If you don’t know what you are missing out on how can you change it?
Inspiration opens the mind to Opportunity, it is the pair of scissors that help snip away the mask covering the eyes so the path can actually be seen.
Opportunity can provide hope and when nourished and kept in good soil, grows and is capable of producing astounding fruit. It’s the combination of factors just like the sun, soil and water that multiplies positivity and growth.
For example you may hear about a person who at a critical point in their lives will have something “come up” or happen, it might be the tiniest stepping stone, non obvious and unexpected, but it is an opportunity. What if that little stone that is lifted is hiding an Alibaba’s cave of treasure? They lift that stone and with each little step another small piece is unravelled and another door opens, the path clears and becomes smoother. When you start paying attention to the “opportunities” around you life can be a big intriguing puzzle and much more interesting.
Now there’s the flip side and when I try and think of an example there are so many to choose from…Let’s look at the psychological and biological makeup of Teenage Boys, whoa there’s a whole book there. The adolescent male is like a walking Twilight novel, at a certain time in his development he will want to imprint, meaning; he will look to another male in his world as a role model and start to manoeuvre and develop his future self upon that person or persons. No kidding, Google it, there’s books and books on it. Now if Dad is awesome, attentive and inspiring, awesome; big tick in that box. But we know the facts; and that isn’t always the case. So maybe this kid is involved with a super responsible and inspiring sporting club, they have great role models in an uncle, grandfather or family friend then chances are his imprinting will be successful and healthy for him. However without that Opportunity for a positive role model, he will select another subconsciously. Opportunity #2 ANYONE HE CAN FIND that fills that need. He is going to go for the nearest group of males he can find guidance and acceptance regardless of healthy or destructive outcomes, which can have devastating consequences and aren’t always ideal. There are a great many psychologists that attribute street gangs and gang warfare to this exact conditioning. I am sure you can see other painful examples in the media at the moment.
This really can be interpreted as our responsibility as a tribe, as a community to make sure that young men in our community have the opportunity to have access to excellent role models during their adult initiation. Sounds tribal but that’s really what it is. In our western culture I’m not sure we have really mastered that role as well or recognised the intrinsic necessity of it to protect and raise healthy strong and balanced young men. I am only using this as an example.
Another snapshot: Person loses job, loses perspective, feels intense pain, really hurting, sitting at a bar, someone offers them cocaine to help take away the pain, give them a ‘boost’ of the powdery kind. An Opportunity to Escape….you decide. Life is really a ‘Choose your own Adventure’ isn’t it? With both deadly and amazing realism. Do you take the little red pill or the blue pill Neo? This is where Sliding Doors are in full active mode!
Again, another passage is now opened; opportunities for the community and individuals or organisations. Providing good opportunities for those that wouldn’t otherwise have them. Example; I know of a top notch private school whom send their financially privileged students to third world countries to volunteer. They rough it, and whist in everyday life they may own Jimmy Choo or Sass and Bide the school gives them the important opportunity to learn servitude. Serving others to help and assist. Invaluable and precious.
I heard recently of an amazing lady who travelled to a third world country and took battery operated sewing machines, taught an entire village how to sew to help self sufficiency and provide a new income stream for those villagers. Pure servitude on a genius scale I think! Mrs.R I think you are awesome.
There’s even a church in Melbourne that pays for and enables their youth congregation to travel to starving communities to help build orphanages and dig water wells, and then they come back and brainstorm how to better serve these communities. Inspiring huh? Or the retirees in Geelong that knit scarves, beanies and blankets for homeless folks, an Opportunity for Warmth.
Look a bit closer to home and see Good Teachers; teachers wanting to help inspire students. I know a lady who teaches Disadvantaged peeps to find work and gain skills in the workplace. Nurses that volunteer their time doing shifts to “hold” drug-addicted newborns for invaluable skin contact, so crucial to the development of a baby, an opportunity these little ones might not have.
Providing opportunities; opening those passageways and hidden ports for those that wouldn’t otherwise know about them is vital nourishment for life. Also making sure that we are awake enough from our slumber to recognise them and grasp the right ones comes into the formula too. You need to be able to feel if it’s a bunny in the basket or a Taipan when you are wearing a mask and have your arm in pit deep.
If you are anything like me you may find that humans can be confusing, life can be tricky and at times a bit overwhelming. So we keep our heads down, our bums up, stick to what you know, the friends you have and all the things that need doing when you are a parent, a worker bee, a part of the world. But I pose the question- what Opportunities are we missing out on by wearing “the mask”. Opening the mind just a fraction, the door by a crack, taking your head from being down and just turning it for a sideways glance what might happen?
Whether we like it or not as long as the human body can reproduce we are a species and a tribe, we are in it together warts and all and its up to every one of us to make sure the Good opportunities exist and are available if not for the wonder of it but for the necessity of an harmonious life. And it’s nice to know what words mean too…maybe? At 88 years of age my Nanna was asked if she wanted a feeding tube. For a vast array of personal reasons this goes against everything she holds dear. She was given a small window of time and an opportunity. She took it. Weeks later she is inspiring health workers, staff and doctors with her tenacity, her smile and determination. She didn’t give up. Its catchy stuff this “Inspiration” and it doesn’t give a hoot about Age, Gender, Creed or Race.
What do you think? Feel free to leave your comments below or share if you want.
Blessings to you and yours, Kirsten.