Groundhog Day

Posted in Dharma’s Culture.

Image of the Simpsons "doh"

Groundhog Day

One of the most inconsequential “holidays” of the year was upon us February 2nd ­– Groundhog Day – based on a traditional myth of a groundhog (aka woodchuck) coming out from a winter’s hibernation to determine how many more weeks of winter weather there may be. If he (groundhog Punxutawney Phil of Gobbler’s Knob, Pennsylvania) sees his shadow, the omen of six more weeks of winter drives him back into his hole, but if the day is cloudy (hence shadow-less) he remains above ground as a sign of Spring. The best part of that myth is the 1993 movie by the same name where a very self-centered, totally annoying jerk played by Bill Murray has the experience of reliving a Groundhog Day over and over and over until he finds meaning in the form of generosity and selfless service to others. Of course, there is a love interest and (movie spoiling coming up) he does get the woman in the end.

The film begs the question, What would we do given the chance to relive our lives in some part or in some way? In any given day, there are sure to be times when a statement is (regretfully) expressed either verbally or via messaging which would cause one to wish he/she could have that time back to use more skillfully. Moments of “D’oh” as we call them here at Dharma.

The remedy is inherent in one of the primary directives that we at Dharma subscribe to: Right Speech. This is a practice of being intentional with our words for clarity, purpose, and understanding without running the risk of doing harm or offending someone. With this practice, we have learned to hold space for one another as we also recognize that listening is the other half of right speech. We still have our share of “D’oh” moments, but hopefully they are fewer and far between.