Today’s Daily Stoic writing prompt: How can I learn from my sparring partners?
“Sparring partner” here is figurative–the idea being that you cut others some slack for their mistakes but at the same time continuing to press them to learn, and to expect the same from them. I mentioned yesterday that I welcome being told when I have made a mistake–because then I don’t perpetuate and amplify it. Giving–and receiving–what’s often termed constructive criticism is a real learning process. The two are linked. It’s very difficult to know how to give that kind of feedback if you do not know how to receive it. And when you give it the first thing to understand is whether you have standing to give it, or whether not giving it will result in harm to someone or something, harm that your feedback would have the power to prevent.
Today being the 35th anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster, I caught up a bit on the latest news about the site. This article mentions an interesting bit: Ukraine is seeking UNESCO World Heritage status for the site, which, since the new sarcophagus was completed in 2019, is apparently not leaking radiation. This is not unprecedented for a site of this variety; after all , Auschwitz is also a UNESCO World Heritage site. The surrounding Exclusion Zone is continuing to prove popular with tourists, but is also essentially a giant nature preserve now and is in many ways flourishing. Tonight I listened to an episode of Ideas taped 15 years ago interviewing some of the people who worked on the cleanup, as well as scientists investigating various parts of the Exclusion Zone. I also finally ordered a copy of Chernobyl: A Stalker’s Guide, which was recommended to me several months ago.
I forgot to mention yesterday the work I did in the office to tidy up, which has resulted in taming the chaos again at least for now. Today our supply of cedar bits and bobs to shoo off moths from our closets arrived, and I got the clothes closets and a couple of the fabric storage areas set up. We are still waiting on a few moth-killing hanging thingies to arrive. But the cedar smells wonderful.
The biggest news of the day was, of course, getting my vaccination. Other than the vaguely creepy feel of it going into my arm, it was uneventful. I immediately came home and ran a Toastmasters orientation session. No other real reactions yet, although I’m definitely getting sleepy earlier. I was one of several friends who had theirs done today. My follow-up is scheduled for August 25. Hoping they’re able to move that up as more supply comes available.