Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Up a tree or bend like a tree

Even the strongest tree must bend before the wind.

I think I was told this is an old Indian saying.

We spend so much of our time teaching our children to stick with things, hang on and persevere. Never give up.
We know and are telling them that is the way to succeed.

Many people lose their hope though when they find theirselves fighting no more than a losing battle. A constant struggle where there is never an end in sight. They become so confused and disgruntled.
That is when they get to feeling so bad, they give up. After trying many times to do things and always finding themselves in similar situations many finally give up completely. Even on life.

Here yesterday we had a water pipe in one of the outbuildings break. It's hard to say how long it may have been frozen because it hasn't been used for a while.
Well out here in the country when you have a pipe freeze, break and then thaw and run the water well dry, you fix it. It happens more often than one would care to keep count of.

Though it kinda gets you down, you just see it as another thing and fix it once more.
Even though there are other things you would rather do or even should be doing, you drop them and fix it.
Yet when getting out the plumbing tools and gathering the parts that would be needed and thinking about it, that old line came to mind.
Even the strongest tree must bend before the wind.

I can't help but wonder if this too is something we should be sure to teach.

There are many times it's the better choice to put aside what you had planned.
Many times it's better to change your plans. Sometimes it's even better to forget your plans and move on in a different direction. Some plans after trying a while you find are just not really worth the effort.

That to me is the bending.

If the strong old tree doesn't bend from the direction it's growing it will break. Possibly even it's trunk will break off near the roots and it will die.
When we find ourselves facing the strong winds of change or the storms life sends our way we too must be willing and able to bend.

This is something that every adult that has had success in life has had to learn. When a business deal goes wrong, the direction of the business must change to accommodate it. When something in a personal life goes wrong, that life has to alter it's direction.

A person who has a heart attack and survives must learn to bend and do things differently. From the foods they eat to the work they do. Their lifestyle is bent and changes so they can live on.

My own personal life had to bend and change around ten years ago. It wasn't something as bad as a heart attack, but I darned near died and my body was left in a condition where I could no longer do many of the things I did once before. For me at the time it might as well have been life ending.

I always did for myself and others. I did about everything myself. I did not ask for help or depend on others for help. I worked well over twelve hours a day. Many days over sixteen hours. I was a very self sufficient person and darned proud of it.
Now the work I once did in just a few hours could take me a few days. Some I could simply no longer do.

It took a few years of self pity and self loathing to finally get used to bending and learning new ways.
Maybe if I had pondered the bending tree before that I would have been better prepared.

I can't help but think that teaching our children about the bending tree could possibly head off their wanting to give up on life when things don't go the way they want or expect.

Change is not giving up. Change is no more than taking another path, a change of course while still heading in the same direction. A detour on the highway of life.
Sometimes that change causes us to completely end what we were doing and do something else while still heading onward towards our success in life.

Like the tree, when a storm comes into it's life it must stop reaching for the sun and survive to stretch forth it's limbs another day. Ever reaching for it's lifelong success.

Couldn't this help our children to keep their smile or regain their smile faster when things just don't go right?

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