Learning To Lean
I once worked with a political organizer in the Little Rock, Arkansas area who had a unique gift. She was able to put her finger on the highest values before us, define them in ways that we could see what they were, and help us to take regular daily steps to achieve them. I can remember our group being mired in some issue or other until she would cut the gordian knot by raising our eyes to a horizon that was invisible to us. She taught us to lean on the highest.
My milieu has changed. I don’t spend my time on social and political issues so much. My time now is spent on my business and its juxtaposition with my family. I am wrapped up in becoming the best craftsperson I can and making that a support for our survival. Making and selling furniture that is well-made and costs what it should is a part of this. Another is helping where I can. My tradition exhorts me to make all I can, save all I can, and give all I can. I struggle to learn how to use new tools, learn to work old methods in a better way, and face the challenges of design with my customers in an upfront manner. I’ve gotten better at identifying potential customers who are only wanting something for nothing. I try to avoid them, not because I don’t want to give them what I can, but because they assume I am lying to them, my only issue being to get as much as I can out of them.
What do I mean by support – something on which to lean? I am trying to stand before my family and community as a person who leans on contributing to the lives of others and drawing upon the abundance of life all around me.