You Don't Live
In A Vacuum
by ET1(SW) David D.
a vacuum what happens to one object will not necessarily affect the object next
to it. In a vacuum, you can yell your
fool head off and never tickle somebody else's eardrums, let alone offend them
by being too loud. In a vacuum, a bomb
can explode and cause no damage to its surroundings.
Chief is saying about the new rules is obviously part of The Plot to destroy my
social life, or at least my sole means of personal gratification since being
stranded here in this desolate duty station.
I can be a dweeb and listen to Chief, or be cool. I'll be cool.
I'll mince a few words, forget a few minor details, and continue on with
my program for success. Chief
never did like me and this is obviously a personal attack, thinly veiled by a
blanket statement trying to prohibit everybody from doing my favorite
behavior. He would never have my best
interests in mind. He is a Chief, after
all, and a moralist to boot. He wants everyone to be brainwashed just like he
What does he know? He's over thirty-five for crying out
loud! He can't be in touch with
reality. I'll pretend to get with the
program, but what I do in my own time is my own
things you say and do affect the people around you. The way you live your life, even your
character traits, are significant to you and sometimes to people around
you. You have an effect on people every
day, by acts of commission and by acts of omission. Things you do, things you say, and even
things you express unconsciously, effect how you and people around you feel,
how effective and efficient you and they are, and how conscientious you are
with your next decision. Like tossing a
pebble in a pond, what you cause sends waves of effects
to the ends of your
world. Unlike the pond, waves in
three dimensional and can amplify
into killer Tsunamis without the slightest intention on your part.
you one of the people with a clue? Is it
your job to sleuth out those who are here to louse up the party your life has
become? Have you become aware that there
are officious people (most probably your boss, your parents, or somebody's
clergy) who have their noses in your business constantly, telling you what you
should or shouldn't do? Who is your boss
to tell you how much to drink, what not to read at work, what to do at work,
what time to get up, what time to get to bed?
Who said your mentor is so much better at life than you are that she
should be editorializing on your affairs?
After all, life would be so much better without any caring, beneficent
advice, wouldn't it?
should we listen to someone who is old and married, or couldn't get anyone to
marry them - or to stay married to them - or whatever? Why should we listen to someone who is so
senior in rank or position that they can't possibly relate to how difficult it
is to be a (fill in your title here).
Gotta live my own life, make my own mistakes, have
my own bad experiences to make the sweet times meaningful. Right!
BOOM!!! The bombs we explode
destroy not only us, but other people too.
We do not live in a vacuum. The
first Postal Clerk who opened up on his co-workers with an AK-47 probably had
no idea he was setting a fashion trend that would brand an industry. He was probably somewhat an original
thinker. He probably never considered that
so many more people would suffer because of lunatic sheep following his lead in
ballistic stress-relief. He didn't live
in a vacuum.
do things my way! CRASH!!!
Who cares about the people I'll run over on my way! If they are in my way, it is their own fault.
things you say and do and feel are largely a result of habits you have
developed. You can change a lot about
yourself just by determining to say the positive, do the kind or thoughtful
thing, or not jump off sarcastic or derogatory given half a chance. What happens to you is not your biggest
problem. What you do with it is. That is the important thing. It will change the way you feel about
yourself, which effects how you deal with the next issue - and so on.
comes in comes in. Everybody's got to
live in the sunshine and the rain. Some
people let rain get them down. Others
see it as an opportunity to go splash gleefully in a puddle and feel mud squish
gloriously between their toes. How you
react to rain showers
next year will be in part driven
by how you teach yourself to relate with rain this year. Rain brings life-giving water. Rain cleans the air and the streets. Rain makes cool designs running off the hood
of my waxed car. Look for the positive -
live for the positive.
is your will? You have an effect on the
world around you. What do you will? Will you have a positive effect on your
environment? What will you do with your
lot in life? Your will is your own. You don't have to give your will away to
submit to the organization. On the
contrary, if you remain anchored by the order of the organization you are then
free to express yourself and be heard by and beyond that organization. A battle banner stands out from its pole
proudly. It is useful for ordering
movement, calling reinforcements, and informing commanders of the status of a
troop. If the lanyard is cut, the banner
folds and becomes useless, wafting through space for a brief moment, then
becoming trudged into the mud or wrapped around a tree, serving to encourage
the enemy. Your will is like the
banner. Anchor your will to the
organization, then use it to work for the good of the
organization, not against it.
you feel that the organization needs to change, be a positive agent for that
change. In the fourth century B.C., Lao Tse, the philosopher most often associated with being
Buddha, said that you cannot change the Tau (way of
things) from without. You must be within
the Tau in order to have any effect on it. He was talking about Buddhism, but the
admonition carries to our organization.
Get on board and use the established mechanisms to make things better
for those who come after you. It is what
we are here to do.
joined the organization, we would benefit personally and corporately by serving
with honor - living up to our oaths to do our best. Realizing that we do not live in a vacuum is
the first step to doing this. Living up
to our potential is our duty. Using our
wills to effect change in a positive manner is our responsibility. How many people came before us and
sacrificed, even ultimately, so that we can have the pleasure of belonging to
the greatest Navy in the world? How can
we do anything but our part in keeping the spirit of pride and professionalism
you be remembered as a sarcastic goon who tears things down, or someone who
made things better? We don't live in a