The picture at Kenne’s post drew me in with questions about old habits. What are the person’s old habits? Is he someone’s old habit?
We wear habits in a way. There is a corporal nature to them including ways we conduct ourselves, think about ourselves and the world. This corporeal nature, habitus, is connected to the word habitat. We inhabit habits and they inhabit us.
When we look in the mirror and see ourselves, perhaps we see the habits in a taken-for-granted way. They just are part of us. Or, do we have someone who is our mirror? Someone who helps us see who we are in clearer way with their honesty and candor?
In Buddhism, others can serve as mirrors. Sometimes, it is in their silence we find ourselves become clearer. Certainly, there is still a graininess to the image and a smokey filter but mirrors help dissipate the graininess and smokiness. The external ordering becomes a patient, compassionate internal ordering.
In keeping with bell hooks and Noam Chomsky, I consider myself a public and dissident intellectual. Part of my work is to move beyond (transcend) institutional dogmas that bind me to defend freedom, raising my voice to be heard on behalf of those who seek equity and justice in all their forms.
I completed my PhD in Philosophy of Leadership Studies at Gonzaga University, Spokane, WA. My dissertation and research was how teachers experience becoming teachers and their role as leaders.
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I am writing and researching about various forms of leadership, how teachers inform and form their identity as a particular teacher, schools as learning organizations, hope and its anticipatory relationship with the future, and hope as an essential element in learning.
This is very intriguing and I’m mulling it over. Meantime, I’ll throw you a curved ball. What if these so-called habits aren’t you at all but symptoms of an illness and once you are treated, they disappear?
I have always been and still am an extrovert and loud and a bit zany but in my mid-20s, I was diagnosed with hydrocephalus and given a shunt ie brain surgery. Where once I’d been “unco”, my coordination improved. I have quitened down a little. Not quite as messy but you wouldn’t know. I have definitely calmed down a lot but am also older. I also used to choke a lot and that settled down. When I first saw the neurologist he went down this checklist of symptoms and I was sitting there and it was like how did he know? All these weird and wonderful things that I’d thought were “just me” weren’t “me” at all.
I know some people with disability resist the idea of being “fixed” but surgery saved my life and wasn’t an option. While it took time to adjust to the new me, I am ultimately pleased to be “better”. I wish surgery could change some of my other bad habits in a more permanent way!
You are right Rowena. There are things we cannot change about ourselves regardless of how hard we try and wish. Sometimes with the right interventions they can be changed and go away to some extent, perhaps entirely. I was referring to smoking and other such habits which is what is in the image at the link although they are hard to change as well.
Smoking is a hard one. My auto-immune disease has attacked my lungs and at times I get furious seeing smokers who are damaging their lungs when they have a supposed choice but it’s not that easy to quit for some.
I know as a former smoker how hard it is to quit. Today, 35 years later, I am grateful I put in the effort. It is a small gesture to making the world a better place.
Old habits are the results from our mind. It knows only the pasts. It also could label others with our mental image. That is why others can serve as mirrors.
Be aware of everything, then you can transcend our mind.
Jade the Mystic
Thank for the comment and encouragement.