Dr. Seuss wrote a book about all the crappy jobs a person could have called “Did I ever tell you how lucky you are?” It makes sense that someone gave me this book as a gift – I have a history of not being happy in my jobs. I think about the “Bee-Watcher-Watcher” quite a bit and wonder about the message. In the past I’ve thought… Yes, indeed there is always someone who is worse off than you… and yes, indeed it is not ideal to be working in a workplace full of ‘watchers’ (redundant positions in a non-trusting environment).
But now I’m looking at the Bee-Watcher-Watcher job differently. Those bee-watchers look like Monks don’t they? Their hands are folded in a calm way and they wear glasses to help them carefully observe. Perhaps it is a statement about finding inner peace and simplicity in our work. The bee is not within our control. It will buzz and dance and do what bees do despite our observances. A person cannot change the nature of the bee by watching it. A person can only learn to appreciate the bee for what it is.
The reason I’m talking about ‘watching’ is because I’ve been thinking about the ‘Watching’ or ‘Witnessing’ I’ve been advised to do as part of the process of meditation, healing and personal growth. Years ago in Yoga Teacher Training we learned about the ‘beginner mind’ and going into the ‘witness’ role as we quiet the mind and watch our feelings and emotions. I’ve continued to learn more about this concept of mentally stepping outside of thoughts and emotions and witnessing them in a detached way. It is how we can be with our pain without judgment and see ourselves more clearly. We do this to set ourselves free from emotional blocks or setbacks.
About The Witness – Yoga International – https://yogainternational.com/article/view/become-your-own-inner-witness
I think my ‘witness mind’ has been more of a ‘Bee-Watcher-Watcher’ in a position to judge and critique my thoughts and emotions. Today I’m realizing my ‘witness mind’ needs a change of perspective. Bee-Watcher-Watcher to Buddhist. A transformation into a kind, calm and supportive holder of emotions and thoughts.
This picture and poem by Dr. Suess will no longer represent the things I have ruminated over with regard to work and other positions in life – but a reminder of the right way to be ‘the witness’.
“Oh, the jobs people work at! Out west near Hawtch-Hawtch there’s a Hawtch-Hawtcher bee watcher, his job is to watch. Is to keep both his eyes on the lazy town bee, a bee that is watched will work harder you see. So he watched and he watched, but in spite of his watch that bee didn’t work any harder not mawtch. So then somebody said “Our old bee-watching man just isn’t bee watching as hard as he can, he ought to be watched by another Hawtch-Hawtcher! The thing that we need is a bee-watcher-watcher!”. Well, the bee-watcher-watcher watched the bee-watcher. He didn’t watch well so another Hawtch-Hawtcher had to come in as a watch-watcher-watcher! And now all the Hawtchers who live in Hawtch-Hawtch are watching on watch watcher watchering watch, watch watching the watcher who’s watching that bee. You’re not a Hawtch-Watcher you’re lucky you see!” – You Don’t Know How Lucky You Are, by Dr. Seuss