“The way we conduct ourselves tells of our spiritual embodiment. The way we move in the world reflects our inner state, not necessarily always what we would like, but rather what is, in any given moment. So when we observe a person who intuitively conducts themselves with purpose and grace, we are witnessing the reflection of something valuable inside.
Many people attempt to simulate purposeful graceful behavior, but it never quite holds true, if it isn’t. The delusional decay within permeates their performance; you can smell it.
Genuinely good conduct is a joy to behold. It is an art form to see someone with goodness in motion, truly good in their marrow. Someone who knows how to do things, simple things: how to express gratitude and appreciation, how to write a letter, how to hold, how to give and receive, how to listen, how to ask, how little or how much to talk, when to help, when not to help; they just instinctively know what to do.
To me, these social skills represent the basics of human communication, the ground floor rudimentary protocols for how to treat each other well, how to embody virtue and consideration. And when we do these things, we inspire courteous, intelligent, warmhearted families and communities which are a pleasure to participate in.
To some people, all of this might sound a bit too much, too much to ask. A person might even say, ‘Well, to hell with that. I just do what I do, and if someone doesn’t like that, then that’s too bad, that’s the way I am.‘ Well, you’ll notice, with a person like this, that they usually have bad conduct. They don’t want to look at themselves, it is troubling for them to believe that they might be behaving badly, so they just do what they do and bury their problems. And in so doing, they are essentially telling you that they operate only for their own comfort, their own security, their own entertainment. And if that means being selfish or inconsiderate or even vulgar and disruptive, then so be it… They are not capable of generating or sustaining the harmony that they fantasize about, because they do not have it within themselves.
But, let’s concentrate on those that do. What can we learn here?
When we do see someone who behaves well, someone with whom time shared is a joy, what is it that they are doing, exactly, that makes it so good? Is it just some arbitrary personalized list of things that they do, preferences and attributes that we just sort of happen to like? Or is something more universal going on? I would say it is the skill of judging appropriateness that makes someone’s behavior so beautiful. The ability for the individual to naturally gauge the suitability of a thing: a word, a gesture, physical space, the volume of voice in different environments, appropriateness of humor, kinds of language in the presence of old people and children, facial expressions, tone of communication, everything.
Appropriateness is built on thoughtfulness, thinking about how your actions affect the world around you: you, the people you are with, the people passing by, the land, the animals, the plants, the elements, society at large, your family, your companions, your loved ones… How is your passage through the day affecting the world, the elements of life in which you are inextricably intertwined? What is the quality of your presence?” ~Neil Kramer