THE TRANQUILITY OF BELIEVING IN IMPERMANENCE
8 January 2021, 13:00:00
Does impermanence exist?
Is it in fact a constant? (the irony here is not lost)
Or, does it depend upon the way we perceive it?
Is it a boon or bane to human beings?
In the Teachings of the Buddha, there is a proposed sense of belonging, towards it, which comes with conscience wisdom and awakening.
Governance requires us to embrace impermanence.
Governance is not a rigid framework, it's more akin to starlings murmurating.
We all have an appreciation that time and tide never remain static. Our organisations ebb and flow...part of the push and pull of internal and external forces that continue. Never more than now, in our own lifetimes, do we feel this constant flux.
But, we have hope, along with the underlying fear, in a confidence that everything will work out. The trick is to not hold too tightly to any projected future. Because, if we do, and we don't make it, it takes us to a place of pain and suffering.
As humans we often use blame and shame, when the situation does not turn out like we hope. By holding on to hope, we actually invite suffering. Accepting impermanence says, "nothing lasts forever". It embraces change as a constant.
Of course, it's not wrong to have hopes, goals and ambitions; but false hope, this, we need to let go.
Observing starlings murmurating is stunningly beautiful. They have learnt to secure their own survival by collective flocking. They demonstrate an almost miraculous agility and flexibility, and yet, they remain coherent. They respect the uncertainty of things and have created a spectacle of constant change.
Opening up to impermanence is not easy. It takes immense courage and practice to accept. Leaders who have this courage, they are the pathfinders when we are surrounded by uncertainty.
So what do you choose to have, the suffering of failed hopes or impermanence?
The success of your governance may depend upon this choice.
This blog was written with the support and insight of one of our contributors. Thank you, Divya. As an MBA student specifically interested in marketing and culture, she is a contributor to the CoSteer blog. If you would like to contribute to moving governance forwards towards a more ethical and human centric framework, please contact us at [email protected].