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Rethinking Hammer

The old saying is, "If you're a hammer, everything looks like a nail". And you know what? There's wisdom in that simple phrase. On one level, it's quite literally about what we are. On another level, it's not about us at all-- it's about our perspective of the world.

My perspective of the world is based on mindfulness and the practice I follow to train my mind and increase my ability to be more mindful. I speak, of course, of meditation. Together, mindfulness and meditation color pretty much everything I say, do and think. True dat.

Mindfulness is certainly not a panacea for everything that ails us, but I believe it makes us better people-- not perfect people. And mindfulness is not a constant state of awareness. It's something we strive for as best we can, when we can. That's the way mindfulness works, for me. Like it's close cousin well-being, mindfulness is a continuous process that peaks at certain times, and wanes at others.

Better late, than never. Better some, than none. I'm not likely to ever be perfect, but if you ask me, perfection is overrated. As is often said (and I have previously written about), perfection is the enemy of the good and I believe that being better, is good.

Hitting the nail on the proverbial head (another hammer analogy, though it's reference is implicit) is another colloquialism that hints at perfection, but it's really about agreement-- confirming things that we agree upon, even if we disagree about the ultimate conclusion.

Perspective and Agreement-- two qualities that share a lot in common with Civility and Professionalism. As well as with Effectiveness-- another word that ends with, "ness". Mindfulness and meditation are important tools that our law firms and other institutions in the legal profession need to add to the lawyer well-being toolkit. Precisely how those tools are taught and used is, of course, up to each of our respective institutions.

Overcoming the skepticism that so many of us hold is not easy, but it's critical to acceptance, and I would respectfully suggest that it needs to be directly addressed through an educational process that precedes the experiential process. Learning how to meditate, what certain meditation exercises are intended to address or accomplish, and why meditation can be a benefit to us, personally and professionally. The whenwhere and whether are also important.

As a lawyer who spent almost 40 years in the trenches (commercial litigation), I know the importance of the how's, what's, why's and all the other questions. It's just the way us lawyers roll.

If I were a hammer, I'd hammer in the morning (I do), I'd hammer in the evening (I do), all over this land (yep, I do). I hammer about mindfulness. I hammer about meditation. I hammer 'bout the love between my brothers and my sisters, all over this land!


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