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Human Being Instead of Human Doing

Many days I wonder about what other are doing, what causes them to do it, and what I can do to control their behaviours. I used the word do a lot in that first sentence. When I wonder that way, I become angry, frustrated, and hurt. I become a human doing instead of a human being. Being present and living each moment mindfully is part of this being.

Some words and an image to help us be today. Happy summer solstice.

The art of life isn’t controlling what happens, which is impossible; it’s using what happens.

~Gloria Steinem


About ivonprefontaine

I completed a PhD at Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA. Previously, I taught for 20 years and taught for 15 years in a wonderful hybrid school. My dissertation topic and research were how certain teachers experience becoming who teachers. In teaching and leanring, I am a boundary-crosser who understands moving ahead is a leap of faith. Teaching is a calling and vocation to express who I am as a person. Currently, I am waiting and listening to what calls me next. I am an educator, phenomenologist, scholar, boundary-crosser, published poet, author, parent, grandparent, and spouse.

10 responses »

  1. Ah, Ivon, I think this lesson is crucial to becoming free on so many levels! I too am beginning to grasp what it is to be and not just do; to equate myself and define myself not by what my career path is or what I can accomplish, but in who I am intrinsically! A very wise post!

  2. Dear Ivon,
    There are many moments in my existence when all I wanted to “DO” was to just be, but to my disappointment I never managed to as I believe I am born to be a human doing. And so many of us are the same…although we really need o break from all that doing we call evolution.

    • I find as I am getting older, and hopefully, more mature and spend more time in reflective places the being is slowly replacing the doing. It is hard work I must admit, but comes with patience and is worthwhile.

  3. Great post, thank you!

    Doing is very close to performing. And to my great sadness most schools (and educational systems) seem to focus on performing, instead of learning.

    And they don’t even notice how those are two different things!!!

    • It is interesting that we are revisiting the role of marks in school. A fundamental question might be do marks add or detract from being a learner?

      Thank you Nina for your comment and moving the conversation forward.

      • My pleasure, indeed. I guess that I am just too passionate about mindful education, and thus my personal filter is almost always set on the question: how does this improve learning? Which, of course, I see as a fundamental survival skill.

        Children are natural born learners (which to my brain also translates as being curious and being interested, and the emphasis is in the word “being”) – but they lose that skill during formal education. Why? Why do they become doers?

        Thank you for providing me lots of food for thought! (My mind is already racing to busyworking instead of learning…)

      • I am glad to share with a mindful teacher. I am on a similar journey into mindful practice.

  4. It’s a difficult one trying to get your head around. When you’ve been programmed to react for so long it’s hard to take a step back and analyze instead. Takes practice. Practice and a different way of thing.
    I like this thought and shall begin this practice. I will try!
    Thank you.


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