The small man
Builds cages for everyone
While the sage,
Who has to duck his head
When the moon is low,
Keeps dropping keys all night long
A poem from Hafiz, a Sufi poet of the 14th century.
First I did not understand what it meant. Then I read an explanation by Chris Guillebeau on his blog, The Art of Non Conformity.
‘Cage-building is protecting yourself and your interests, making yourself look good, and discouraging good ideas because you weren’t the one to come up with them. Key-dropping, on the other hand, is making other people look good, building them up, expanding the pie.’
I like the idea of ‘dropping keys’ or helping other people open up some part of their lives. Sharing your knowledge, skills, whatever money you have. Right now, it is happening with a friend of mine who runs a furnishings business. I’ve helped her to start making some quilts and the idea for this came through another friend of mine. So it’s like a chain of people holding hands.
For instance, the poem came from a quote of J.D. Roth about his happiness on the Happiness Project and it took me to the Art of Non Conformity. And it struck a chord with what is going on in my life right now.
Tomorrow is a big sale of hand made products. My friend is very excited. After 15 years of struggling she says, she is finally organized before the date, has a lot of stock ready, her bag of things to take, (we wrote the list of things like bill book, scissors which she usually overlooks in the heat of the moment and it is all sitting right here); has transport, lunch and all the other small details organized. It is good to see her palpable happiness and to feel, that I have contributed in some way to it.
I’m trying to think back now on the times when people put a key in front of me. We don’t evolve alone