Over this morning’s coffee with Jorge, the topic was practice. He said that the variety of meanings of that English word had puzzled him for many years. Jorge has marvelled at how context gives the English word meaning. He claims the Spanish words are more precise. For instance, práctica is more along the English for rehearsal or to practice before becoming proficient at a task. Ejercicio, is even more akin to rehearsal or drilling to perfect a skill or as a verb, to persue.
In English, the word, practice, can encompass all of the above and more. A musician can practice her scales and a physician can have his practice or profession. It seems that if we actually paid close attention to the word, practice, that we might learn a more skillful way of living.
Very rarely, and I submit, never, do we have revelations pop out of the blue. Every concept, art, skill, work of literature, scripture, scientific discovery, whatever, comes about by virtue of the practice of practice. We find something in nature or we observe a problem, then we analyze it or try to figure out a solution or contemplate upon it.
For instance, in philosophy or belief systems, nature and human behavior are observed and puzzled over. Early humans looked for explanations as to origins of the world and themselves. They had problems of obtaining food and enjoying a satisfying existance. Little by little we found that foodstuffs can be cultivated. We also found out that personality and character can also be groomed.
The agricultural developments became more sophisticated as more people practiced them, reshaped them, adapted them to different climates and environments. The religious developments became more sophisticated and cunning, too as people and cultures practiced and shaped them.
The same goes for individual skills, avocations and arts. Just as Ludwig Van Beethoven learned basic composition from his teachers. Eventually, through much practice and repetition, did he come up with his Symphony Number Nine. The same goes for each musician who learns how to beautifully play his instrument to become a member of an esteemed orchestra that in turn must practice in order to perform the symphony.
Think of anything or any action that brings beauty and benefit to the world. The roots can be found far back in antiquity. Perhaps in the world of science. The concept of formulating a cause or a result that can be independently verified by others came about slowly and from other applications. Ever more practice and effort by thousands of individuals throughout the eons has brought humanity to where we now find ourselves.
It is never finished. More honing, thinking and practice will bring about more amazing art, music, science, medicine and mental skills to enable us to overcome our difficulties and obstacles.
Jorge and I finished our little visit and our coffee. He asked who would be willing to practice his skills of washing up the plates and mugs.
The Blue Jay of Happiness maintains that practicing your heart’s desire is a proven path to joy.