I justify my position on intervening in the world.
When should I intervene in my world? I have struggled many years answering this question. I created a rule in my recent blog post titled “Going beyond control,” that I would only intervene if I enhanced the life or environment of my target of intervention. A long-time reader of Liberated Way named Danny Williams has a Taoist outlook on life and made the following comment:
“The need to control is inherent within my nature (comes down from my father’s side) and it is something that I am in constant battle with.
However, in my battle, I struggle to define what control actually is. I.e. you say with one of your personal changes ‘I enhance that which I intervene in.’ but to my mind, your examples show that you are controlling your immediate environment based upon your own perception of what the Hilly Fields should be like, and where the Bee prefers to be.
In the case of the Bee, I’m sure you have times when you would prefer to be somewhere that is not of an immediate benefit to you, but you choose to be there anyway. What if that Bee had chosen to be on the concrete…?
As you know, I am a keen follower of the Eastern philosophies. When considering ‘control’ I learned a lot from Bruce Lee’s Taoist ways when he would say ‘Be like water my friend’. Water flows around objects leaving them as they were when it first arrived.
It does not pass judgement, and it does not make changes beyond the affect of its temporary presence.
Be like water my friend. Allow the Bee to be.”
Question: I come upon a crazy person beating a baby to death, do I let it be, walk on, do nothing? I answer that I follow the rule like for like, if I was a baby, would I like death by beating? If not, would I like someone to help to prevent my death by beating? I would intervene, and in the process enhance the life of the baby by preventing injury and death to the baby.
In my blog post “Going beyond control,” I gave three examples of intervention where I in my opinion enhanced the target of my intervention. I saved a bird from a cat, as I deduced this bird might desire injury-free life. I decided in moving a bee from concrete to a flower, the problem of wild animals in conflict with disharmonious creations of humanity, flowers are better than concrete for bees. Danny is correct that I am unable to justify my intervention rules in picking up litter from Hilly Fields; in answer I am in a trade relationship with Hilly Fields, I use this as a base of inspiration, photography and discovery, I return in payment the clearing of litter from Hilly Fields.
When I saw a homeless person steal milk from a retail store, I did not intervene. I could have stopped a shop thief who ran past me, I let him go, as for the theft of a Halloween mask: intervention risked personal injury; loss of privacy of my details going on databases; loss of time completing police paperwork; loss of time going to court as a witness; risk of retribution from the thief; risk of being charged for assault by the police and a civil damages claim if I injured the thief.
I came across a bee today that was in trouble. The bee was in the road rolling around as the wheels of passing vehicles nearly flattened it. I intervened by scooping up the bee, placing it in the grass. The bee proceeded in travelling back towards the road. I changed tactics by capturing the bee in a bag, I desperately looked for a safe place to safely deposit the bee. On a grassy field the wind took the bag from my hand and I was chasing the bag across the field, I lost the bee in the confusion.
Later today I sat on a wall, I noticed a strange white insect struggling against the wind with limited grip on the wall. I intervened, I placed a stick shield against the wind for the insect. The insect climbed upon the stick, which I deposited upon the grass behind the wall where I spotted similar looking insects.
I reluctantly intervene in human affairs. I mostly only intervene with plants and animals if they are in trouble. Many of my interventions with nature fall under the trade relationship; there is a trade going on of benefit for benefit; if I enjoyed eating a wild cherry, I deposit the seed of the cherry in a location where a cherry tree may grow.
In those areas I am steward of, such as my personal business, I pro-actively intervene as per my role in defending, maintaining and enhancing the boundaries, processes and prosperity of it.