On the weekend I was happy to be running an Open Space event for 125 people who live across British Columbia’s Gulf Islands. We had a ball, and I’ll write more shortly.
One of the great things that happened there was that four amazing people joined me in holding space: Wendy Farmer-O’Neil, Valerie Embry, Nancy McPhee and Beverley Neff.
A million small and interesting conversations happened between us during the event, a great side effect of working with a team. One of them was about the vagaries of praise and blame, and especially how important it is to be stable as a facilitator.
Ever the trickster, Wendy illuminated the topic with this parable:
Upon receiving the note, the master smiled and wrote “fart fart” on the bottom, gave it back to the village messenger to be returned.
When the monk received the note he was furious. How could his master so belittle the accomplishments of the past ten years. He set out on foot and travelled to see his old master himself. When he arrived and was granted audience, he demanded to know what his master had meant. His master replied, “In your poem, you tell me that you are free from being blown and buffeted by the winds of praise and blame, but two little farts blew you 300 miles.”
Want more wisdom like this? Come to our training in November!