Hi everyone, I’m Leo Notenboom for askleo.com.
So I want to be clear, today’s talk isn’t really about religion in any way, shape or form. What it really is … it started as a discussion a while back with a good friend of mine. He, besides being an ex-Microsoft person also happens to have become a philosophy major and even for a short time, a Buddhist monk.
Now, I meditate regularly and I have for some time. One of the things that I learned, early on, was that there was a lot of secular, or non-religious wisdom buried in the texts that were heavy with Buddhist terminology. For me, all of this terminology that I didn’t really understand, got in the way of my getting, or absorbing the ideas that I was really interested in learning about.
Now, I think that’s true for a lot of people, specifically with respect to meditation when it comes down to that. There are a lot of great ideas in there, and when you start throwing around words like, “dharma” and “maitri” and “bodhisattva” and more, gosh, my eyes, man, they just glaze right over.
So I shared with my friend, that there was an opportunity here. An opportunity to express those ideas and concepts in ways more easily accessible to the average person. I challenged him to become a translator. He understands these concepts deeply and like so many who do, particularly when they have a background in academia, or they spend a significant portion of their lives immersed in something, there’s a real tendency to use what is admittedly more precise academic terminology.
There’s a huge opportunity here not only for success but to expand the reach of his ideals if he can translate it into terminology that you and I can understand.
Does all of this sound kind of familiar?
Of course it does, and in fact I’ll bet that some of you are yelling at your computer right now.
This is a good portion of exactly what I do. It’s a key and often missing component of technical support – translation services. Translating obscure and academic terminology into concepts, words and generalizations that are easier for normal people to understand.
I do it for tech. He can do it for Buddhism. The question is what could you do it for?
This isn’t really a new concept. There have always been areas of expertise that benefit from translation into concepts for the everyman. What do you know so well that you could describe it to your grandmother and have her nod her head in understanding? For one thing, the world might benefit from your doing that for more than just your relatives, but second it probably it gives you an idea, some insight as to what it’s like to do technical support.
On one hand, I’m a glorified translation service but on the other, that translation is difficult, that translation is really, really, really hard. The concepts are difficult and complex, and even though we might not always want it to be this way, they’re necessary. So, yeah, learning new ideas and terminology is pretty important – be it trying to fix your computer, learning to meditate or something else.
But if you’re trying to get your ideas across to other people, the better you can speak their language, the more likely it is they’ll be willing to at least consider yours.
Tech support and Buddhism – they both need translators.
And apparently, I’m some kind of technology monk.
What do you think? As always, if you’re watching this anywhere but on Ask Leo! head on over there – here’s the link. I’d love to see your comments, please leave them there and let me know what you think. As for me, I have more translation and meditation to take on. Until next time, take care.