Putting your knee down
Sounds easy, putting your knee down, is it? What about not giving your seat on a bus or at a lunch counter? History is built by individuals daring to take action when the majority would deny their rights.
Society as a rule
What is majority rule then? What is it made up off? When I look at the variety of cultures throughout centuries I wonder about the “One Divine Law of Intervention“. It would seem more that “the rule of law” is what 51% of the people have decided upon. And when you factor in less democratic governments such as dictatorships and religious states, well, don’t even think about individual rights.
As members of a race called “Humanity” our collective cohesion thrives on cooperation. Our physical bodies are made up of gazillions of cells. Dis-ease occurs when communication fails. Business’ also have their culture, so does communities and families. We are one defined by the rules of the many.
But what if your instincts, your whole being feels that something is wrong? Maybe it’s insomnia, that extra cup of coffee or second helping of dessert, or worse your declining health? Case in point: After losing more than 50 pounds of fat in the last years I see my blubbering waist expanding again. I didn’t become aware of it then until I developed sleep apnea. This time I am witnessing it and I am getting quite frustrated!
When or how do I put my knee down?
Fight the power
Presently I am reacting to a simple rule of compensation: “Eat, do not validate your feelings, cover them up with pleasure!” It doesn’t really matter how I acquired this rule, I just have to accept it’s presence and acknowledge it’s effects in the present: shallow breathing, fatigue and mood swings.
When I think of fighting external rules many leaders comes to mind: Gandhi, Mandela and Martin Luther King. When I think about inner rules Greek philosophers come to mind: Diogenes the Cynic, Epictetus the Stoic and Socrates with his famous dictum “Know thyself!”
Diogenes was very controversial and embodied his philosophy of living in agreement with nature, rejecting all conventional desires for wealth, power, sex, and fame. He lived in a broken amphora in the streets exemplifying that virtue was better revealed in action than in theory. Spitting in the face of nobles he told the king to step out of his sunlight. “He has the most who is most content with the least”. He walked his talk; he put his knee down.
Stoics also lived in harmony with nature, and with the acceptance of what is beyond our control. There is a story that as a slave Epictetus was tortured by his master who twisted his leg. Enduring the pain with complete composure, he warned that his leg would break, and when it did break, he said, ‘There, did I not tell you that it would break?’ “Men are disturbed not by things, but by the view which they take of them. It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters. No man is free who cannot control himself. There is only one way to happiness and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power of our will.” He put his knee down!
Socrate asked questions and questions and questions to help a person or group to determine their underlying beliefs and the extent of their knowledge. For his sin of questioning he was found guilty of corrupting the minds of the youth and sentenced to death by drinking a poison of hemlock. “The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.” He put his knee down!
Freedom to choose
Should I then reject my desire for pleasure, simply accept what is beyond my control or question my behaviours? Reject, accept or question?
The beauty of our Humanity is that I am free to even ponder these choices. Rules can limit your choices to the point that you feel totally helpless, I understand. Still, however raised, socialized or educated, there remains that one precious liberty that no one can take away, the liberty to choose.
I struggle with my inner rules of feelings and my weight, and with the outer rules of world politics. But I choose as a Laughter Yoga Leader, as a Humanitarian Clown and as a member of Humanity to “PUT MY KNEE DOWN FOR LOVE”.
So where ever you are on the globe I’ve pulled up a chair at my kitchen table and I am serving you a thick serving of LOVE. What would you be willing to put your knee down for?
(PS: Seconds are always offered, Enjoy!)
I love you all xxxxxx
If telling my story can offer a beacon of hope to those who are locked away behind dark walls of protection, then I feel I have started to accomplish my task.
Guy Giard is a speaker and the author of the upcoming book ‘LOVE’s healing journey’ How to Triumph over life’s adversities.
Dr “Patch” Adams writes about Guy Giard: “I truly feel his passion to live radiant, using clowning as a tool to help midwife a loving world. To hear of his own transformation to being a loving soul will inspire others to try it on.
Sign up today for the Pre-Launch Newsletter by following this link and be the first to receive special reductions and excerpts from the book!