Thursday, May 28, 2009

Diverting Wisdom… for Patience

Animated classics have been a favourite motion picture genre for me, well, since Shrek (2001) at least. The most recent Monsters vs Aliens (2009) was as wonderfully and creatively constructed as all of them, though the Ice Age series and Monsters Inc (2001) are now personal favourites. But Flushed Away (2006) featured a rather ‘amusing’ scene that I find ties very well with the real wisdom of patience.

At one point when Roddy St. James, the high-society mouse, is trapped with his female friend (Rita) by Toad, he gains the momentary favour of Toad when Toad learns Roddy’s from “up top.” Being rather a snob himself, Toad offers Roddy a look at ‘his private collection’ of “up top” souvenirs.

Toad mentions Roddy might find it ‘diverting,’ alluding to it being a diversion to the adversarial situation the two had found themselves in. Unfortunately, however, Roddy’s lack of sensitivity and brash snootiness puts paid to the favour of ‘diversion’ by saying that it is ‘amusing’ as opposed to ‘diverting’… Toad is incensed.

Not a wise move it seems! But being diverted is a trick of wisdom that anyone can take advantage of--wisdom around the impatience it seems we all suffer from.

Like when we’re caught in traffic. Rather than get agitated and upset, we could choose to divert our focus and thinking. The Shaman warriors of Ancient Mexico have a saying that speaks to their ability to do just that. “When faced with odds that cannot be dealt with, warriors retreat for a moment. They let their minds meander. They occupy their time with something else. Anything will do.”[1] It is their 5th principle of stalking, but to us it might prove diverting enough so we’re not given to worry, concern or delay.

Patience is something that we seem to struggle more and more with in this ‘instant’ day and age. Everything it seems is available instantly and we do not ordinarily have to wait.

But the principle of patience is the only suitable approach in dealing with a universal law; one that’s steeped in all systems of life. One that requires us to be patient. If only we can become better at diverting our attention whilst we need to wait, then we can utilise the time and our energy a lot better, and not become so given to impatience.

Copyright © 2009, S. J. Wickham. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.

[1] Carlos Castaneda, The Wheel of Time: The Shamans of Ancient Mexico, Their Thoughts about Life, Death and the Universe (Los Angeles, California: LA Eidolona Press, 1998), p. 210.

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