Quarreling Ducks & Empty Lots

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My walk this morning filled my lungs with the opportunity to breathe, to take and behold nature & life. For the species that I was able to observe, the chilly breeze of the overcast sunrise provided a one-way window into their lives, even if only for those moments. In the background, rumbling motors ran in tandem with the friction of tires across the pavement. In pace with my movements, the crunching of grain-sized gravel contrasted the serenity of the dew-rich sea of grass blades nearby.

Only a few steps away, an intentional splash drew my eyes to discover quarreling ducks, each one intent on securing an invisible boundary for surface diving within the vast pond. These defensive actions became so repetitive as to replace the pursuit of food, at least seemingly so. The impact of such dynamic imagery would become apparent as I continued on the morning’s journey.

A few minutes later found me staring at an empty lot, a warm and recently awakened household to its right. The irony of these two in proximity to each other stirred me.

Quarreling Ducks

Our daily pursuits are full of opportunities to achieve. We often find ourselves alongside others who share our opportunities for achievement. At times, such opportunities overlap, creating conflict. It is too easy to become distracted from your primary purpose if you momentarily turn focus away from  it. The moment we become absorbed with anything other than feeding our hunger is the moment achievement can slip away from all parties involved in the conflict. Keep your hunger in check. In its simplest function, hunger is a reminder of the need for balance and attention.

As a matter of principle, decide now to become fully invested in your own pursuits and to protect your interests as necessary. Do not waste your time with anything that detracts from achieving your interests. This is the principle of self-preservation. This principle includes compassionate service for others. Such service is crucial because it can keep us humble, grateful, and conscious of our need for others.

Empty Lots

Every build begins with empty space. Think about that. It has been said that art is nothing more than lines & curves in space. Similarly, character is built upon an empty lot and will become either an inviting structure which inspires confidence, or an abandoned property that invites no traveler or interest in it.

Thoughts form emotions; emotions drive actions; actions drive feedback in the form of thoughts. The cycle then starts anew. Repeated cycles form habits. Habits are the essence of character and are more than mere pebbles on dirt; they become the foundation upon which we build and to which others will look and decide to visit or not.

At times we seek to improve our character, or perhaps even feel the need for a fresh start. With the empty lot in mind, we must accept the existence of our foundations. Each one is under the discretion of its owner to further develop or update, or even remove and pour anew. There are even occasions which require a change of site, a new beginning. A change of scenery can provide clarity and an empty lot. If you ever find yourself looking at an empty lot, don’t rush to build without indulging ideation. Consider your needs. Check your wants. Then, get busy planning your work so that you can then work the plan. Anything worth the effort requires work, and work is the noblest of all actions.

-David SafeWater

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