Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Best Laid Plans of Mice and Men

I don't plan much, these days.

One look at my room, and some might say I am disorganised. And yet, I know where everything is, where they go and will go.

I know for a fact that things are never static. They're always flowing, moving, changing. You can never be a step ahead of reality. Why would you want to be? It simply means being out of step with creation. With life.

The only thing that tells us that time is happening, is change.

I do not presume to know everything. I don't even see levels of knowledge or experience. People who do - and I was one of them - would continue to strive for higher levels until one day, they fall flat on their fat faces.

How many times have I fallen flat on MY face? Countless. I know more about the 'wrong' ways of doing things than the 'right' way of doing things. In the end, right and wrong are all illusions.

So that leaves me with? Ways. Only ways.

The folly of planning is making assumptions. You assume that you will be alive tomorrow. You assume that the ground will not shake beneath your feet. You assume people are stupid. You assume people are as petty as you.

Journalists - real journalists, good ones - never assume. Good Buddhists as well. Real ones.

Like that turtle said in Kung Fu Panda. Yesterday, is history. Tomorrow, is a mystery. And today, today is a gift. That's why it's called the present.

I find plans, schemes and plots to be a distraction from the actual work of the moment. This is why I write for newspapers. Consider that. Writing for newspapers. Every day, is never the same than any other day. Each task, each challenge, is unique. I get easily bored, once I've solved a puzzle.

The computer games I play all follow multiple paths. Championship Manager, where you can deal with an infinite possible line-up, problems and player change and performance dips and curves as allowed within the confines of the rules.

Jagged Alliance 2, where I have read more than 100 ways of playing it to the finish. I play Jagged Alliance 2 my own way. Based on whims, luck and whatever was available at the time.

Final Fantasy VII - I have explored as many ways to play the game as possible, including times when I spent days - actual, real-time days - just racing Chocobos. I also defeated the final monster with just a limited, rudimentary set of materia. Not material. Materia.

We set things up for the future, yes, but to follow such a rigid system or set-up is a lesson waiting to be learned.

SYstems are made up of components, yes? What are the components? What are the most important cogs in a system? People. And people, while they do not change, are always making different moves and thoughts and whatever else. It is impossible to control people. It is like ramming a square peg into a round hole.

You do not control people. You work with them. Play to their strengths. And shoulder up their weaknesses. Some, are gone cases. I mean, you don't send a one-legged man to compete with Usain Bolt in the 100M dash. You don't send a deaf-mute to challenge Aretha Franklin in a singing competition. You don't send Ray Charles to drive in the F1.

And I didn't even plan to write this. Just waiting for my cab. Spent the whole night reading Wikipedia. Not all of it. Impossible. Just a few things here and there.

I don't plan, these days. Whatever is in front of me, I'll deal with it when I get to it.

Plus, no matter how I plan, things always have a way of turning up better than expected. I have faith in the universe finding a balance for itself.

This week, for example, whenever there was a lack of whatever, something shows up in front of me. Instead of rejecting things, I embrace it. Circumstances and people eventually get the work done. With or without me.

End of the day, that's all that matters.

I let go, and I let it rip. And I let it RIP.

I am so fucking cool. And right now, with my eyes half closed and coffee in my veins, I feel like Buddha the Barbarian.