Application O

by zenquaker

One of the Chess websites I play on just changed their site design. This spawned so many threads about how bad the new design was and how people wanted the old design back that 8 out of the 10 latest posts were on that topic. But the lie is that they just changed their site. They’ve had the new version of the site in beta for months. There have been links on the old site for the beta version begging you to check it out and give feedback. But now that it’s up everyone is freaking out about it. Why wasn’t I consulted, Why wasn’t I informed? You were, and you blew it off.

This is a pattern I’ve seen before.

Just before I bought my condo they had cut down a bunch of trees. They had to get city approval to do this and the deal with the city was that they had to replant a certain number of trees. There were notices in the condo newsletter about deciding what trees to plant. I went to some of the meetings, but I don’t know or care much about different kinds of trees, so I didn’t give much input. There was another notice about reviewing the plans the landscaper had come up with. I went to those meetings. There were notices posted in every building about the board meeting to talk about the plans, and then the board meeting to vote on the plans. I went to those. They planted a dogwood in front of my building. One of my neighbors freaked out because in a few years it will grow and block her light. “Why wasn’t I consulted, why wasn’t I informed?” You were and you blew it off.

We were having problems with non-residents using our parking lot. We had lots of meetings, announced in the condo newsletter, about how to deal with it. It was decide to issue parking permits and start towing non-residents. There were several board meetings on the issue, with the minutes posted in every building. The board voted to proceed, and a contract was signed with a towing company, who put up signs all over the property. Parking permits and guest permits were printed, and available for a month in the office, and multiple notices in bright colors were posted on the door and above the mailboxes in every building. The month after the towing started, and whole bunch of people showed up at the board meeting wanting us to change everything to the point of getting new signs made and printing new passes. They kept saying “Why wasn’t I consulted, why wasn’t I informed?” You were and you blew it off.

This is what I was talking about in the Now Derivative. Paying attention to the here and now doesn’t just relieve the suffering you already have by helping you let go of the desires that are keeping your mind off the here and now. Paying attention prevents sources of new suffering by making you aware of problems before they occur. If those people had payed attention they would have known about the site changes, the trees, and the towing. But they were too wrapped up in their desires, and those desires caused them suffering when the changes occurred. Clinging to their desires left them unable to adapt to changing circumstances.