Recalculating with No Road Ahead

by Trent Gilliss, senior editor

"Sometimes not even the GPS can really tell you where you are."
~Karen Nelson

This dear listener with a fine sense of humor submitted the photo above, along with the subsequent caption in response to our show "What We Nurture with" Sylvia Boorstein. During her conversation with Krista, the Jewish-Buddhist teacher and psychotherapist shares this analogy about “recalculating” one’s life like a GPS unit:

Dr. Boorstein: I’ve never said it in a public audience, but I just thought about it recently. I decided that — I’ll find out soon if this is a good analogy — but I was thinking about the GPS in my car. It never gets annoyed at me. If I make a mistake, it says, “Recalculating.” And then it tells me to make the soonest left turn and go back. I thought to myself, you know, I should write a book and call it “Recalculating” because I think that that’s what we’re doing all the time.

If something happens, it challenges us and the challenge is, OK, so do you want to get mad now? You could get mad, you could go home, you could make some phone calls, you could tell a few people you can’t believe what this person said or that person said. Indignation is tremendously seductive, you know, and to share with other people on the telephone and all that. So to not do it and to say, wait a minute, apropos of you said before, wise effort to say to yourself, wait a minute, this is not the right road. Literally, this is not the right road. There’s a fork in the road here. I could become indignant, I could flame up this flame of negativity or I could say, “Recalculating.” I’ll just go back here.

Ms. Tippett: So this is an example of technology instilling us with spiritual discipline — we find so much to criticize.

Dr. Boorstein: And no matter how many times I don’t make that turn, it will continue to say, “Recalculating.” The tone of voice will stay the same.

Ms. Tippett: That’s good. I think it’s a good analogy.

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    I shared this story with my dad a few weeks ago, and now, when things are going awry, he’ll tell me that he just thought...
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    bRecalculating with No Road Ahea by Trent Gilliss, senior editor “Sometimes not even the GPS can really tell you where...
  7. Karen Nelson submitted this to beingblog