Wednesday, July 22, 2020

getting better at zoom

Last night I attended the Oregon Guild of Woodworkers meeting via zoom, and it seems that with the pandemic, I'm zooming a lot. It allows me to connect with woodworkers from around the world from the convenience of my office. 

Today I have a zoom conference with folks from the Idea Center at Notre Dame (the university, not the cathedral), and tomorrow one with the program committee for the Eureka Springs School of the Arts.

I've been giving some thought to the importance of mistakes, and of forgiveness. Mistakes they say, are inevitable, even though we may have feelings of self-loathing when they happen. They do alert us to our own humanity. They may help train us to accept the humanity of others. Along with acceptance of blame, we accept our own humanity, and our responsibilities to attempt to do better. And the quicker we act on forgiveness, the faster we get back to the work at hand.

Only two of our presidents, to my knowledge have been woodworkers. One was Thomas Jefferson, though he likely had most of his work performed by slaves. The other is Jimmy Carter, who in time will be acknowledged as one of the greats, in that he's lived long and set an example of selfless service. There are some who despise him for that. I have a nice note from Jimmy Carter that I've kept on my bulletin board in my office, in which he thanked me for a copy of one of my books that I sent to him years ago.

I wonder if mistakes are part of the plan that sets us up for success... not success in having the right perfect stuff, but success in our arrival as fully functional human beings capable of such divinity as the practice of forgiveness. 

The world of manufactured stuff sets us up for an unreasonable competition of man vs. machine. Machines go out of whack over time. People, real people, have the opportunity to improve performance through the development of skill. But if we make a simple guess, that the reason we make mistakes is a divine plan to enable us to learn crucial lessons of forgiveness of others, would our mistakes no longer be necessary to our development? It's an experiment you can help me with. Get out there, and goof up. Then practice the forgiveness of others. You may discover that it helps. It's certainly one of the lessons we learn in wood shop.

I started last night's meeting with this brief, 8 minute video produced by the Arkansas Arts Council.

Make, fix, and create...

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