Show Your Work

A few years ago, my Zen master sat me down and told me something like this: “Okay, I’m going to tell you the answer to everything. <answer here>. Now, show your work.”

I was immediately taken back to Chemistry II in High School. I was not the greatest science student, and struggled mightily with the formulas. My teacher often took pity on me and let me have the answers from the back of the textbook. But I always had to show my work, the path I took from start to finish. That was what I was being graded on, and it was the only thing that counted.

Still is. The answer is pretty neat, but the magic is how we show our work, with our lives, with our actions and thoughts, with how we treat each other and perhaps most importantly how we treat ourselves.

So let’s get out our lab notebooks and pencils and all the supplies we need, and get to it.