Conversations For Transformation: Essays Inspired By The Ideas Of Werner Erhard

Conversations For Transformation

Essays By Laurence Platt

Inspired By The Ideas Of Werner Erhard

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Something Solid On Which To Stand

Vallejo, California, USA

Memorial Day, May 26, 2014



"We find something solid on which to stand." ... Alexandra Platt

"That something solid  is who we really are." ... Laurence Platt
This essay, Something Solid On Which To Stand, is the third in a group of three written on Memorial Day: I am indebted to my daughter Alexandra Lindsey Platt who inspired this conversation.




In times of trouble it's natural to reach out to others and ask for support. It's more than that actually. It's the admission of a big  person who's willing to reach out to others and ask for support. It's the sign of a big human being who's willing to be vulnerable asking for support. And (for the most part) people are willing to offer support when asked for it.

That's the easy part of this equation. The hard part is it may seem  as if support is scarce. But it's not. It never is. It's everywhere. Finding support is a matter of being big enough and courageous enough to ask for it, to give up the "I can handle it all by myself"  facade, to drop the "I don't need anyone"  pretense, and simply ask for it.

<aside>

Handling it all by myself can also be a possibility  rather than a facade, and not needing anyone can also be a possibility rather than a pretense, both of which are better expressed as the possibility of being independent, and the possibility of being Self-sufficient, yes?

However neither of them work as a facade or as a pretense. Yet as possibilities, both are viable.

What there is to give up when reaching out to others and asking for support is the facade  "I can handle it all by myself", not the possibility "I can handle it all by myself" / the possibility of being independent. What there is to drop when reaching out to others and asking for support is the pretense  "I don't need anyone", not the possibility "I don't need anyone" / the possibility of being Self‑sufficient.

<un-aside>

That said, is reaching out to others and asking for support in times of trouble, our only  option? When it seems as if we're not powerful enough, not strong enough to deal alone with the situation at hand, is there a place, a space, a platform  (if you will) on which we can stand on our own entirely, which is ours completely, and on which we can count unremittingly?

As I pose this question, I notice it has quasi-religious  overtones harkening to prayer. Prayer can be included in what it is to reach reach out to others (to God in particular) and ask for support. There's certainly nothing wrong with prayer. But as an option, praying to God doesn't address the question at hand - it actually avoids it. The question at hand is "Is there a place, a space, a platform on which we can stand on our own entirely, which is ours completely, and on which we can count unremittingly?". As options, prayer and reaching out to God for support, only deflect from this particular inquiry.

<aside>

I happen to think if you're going to have a relationship with God, then have a relationship with God. If you're not, then don't. And if you do have a relationship with God, be powerful  in your relationship with God - don't be a wimp  in your relationship with God.

But that's a subject for another conversation on another occasion.

<un-aside>

So here's my question: is there a source, is there a count-on-able possibility for support I can be for myself  in times of trouble? I propose there is, for each of us, something solid on which to stand  in times of trouble, something we own entirely, which is ours completely, and which we can count unremittingly on ourselves for. I propose this something solid is who we really are - quite literally, it's my word in the matter.

Furthermore I propose standing on this platform, which is to say standing on who we really are ie our word in the matter, enhances and empowers our relationships especially during but not limited to those times of trouble which require reaching out and asking for support. It creates the possibility of us being powerful collaborators, leaders, and partners - a far cry from the most common option previously available to us in times of trouble: being comforted, helped, and rescued.



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