I have two acres of beautifully landscaped property with colorful gardens. In each, I’ve planted a wide array of flora: roses, tulips, chrysanthemums, geraniums, daisies, sweet Williams, peonies, and others whose names elude me. One day, while preparing dinner in the kitchen, I heard voices outside. I wasn’t expecting company or the UPS guy so I ventured outside to see who was there. No one was visible yet the voices continued. I followed them around to the front of my house. Still, no one. I stood for a moment wondering if perhaps I needed medication for those voices in my head when I realized the sounds were emanating from below. I looked down – they were coming from my garden.
“What the heck is wrong with you? Are you lazy or just stupid? Here it is June and I’m already in full bloom and you’ve barely stuck your head out of the ground. Loser!” I couldn’t believe what was happening! My garden was at war with itself! I stood in disbelief as the roses and geraniums argued, criticizing one another and calling each other vile names. I was horrified!
“What in the world is going on here?” I questioned. What was supposed to be a diverse assortment of vibrant plant life turned into a battle ground of floral egos. “Rose” explained that while she was in full bloom, her lazy cohorts were dilly-dallying and not taking this whole garden thing seriously. “The growing season doesn’t last forever, you know,” she remarked to them sarcastically.
“Hold on a minute”, I said. “It’s not up to you to determine how and when each flower should grow. The growing conditions must be ideal for each of you and everyone has a unique set of criteria. You, my friend, do not get to dictate the growth patterns of Daisy, William or any of the others. Your role is to be the best you and leave the rest up to Nature. One does not demand flowers bloom. They must be nurtured, supported, and appreciated at each stage of their growth.”
Ok, I must confess. This didn’t actually happen and no, I don’t hear voices (at least not from my garden). But I wanted to illustrate an important point. Wouldn’t it be completely absurd if, in fact, nature behaved in such a childish and arrogant manner? We all know that everything in nature has a time and place and one cannot and must not force her to conform to our expectations.
Nature expects nothing. It does not demand, reprimand or threaten. Man, considered the highest form of life on the planet is the only one who violates this principle. When we impose demands on one another to be who we want them to be or do what we want when we want, we create misery and suffering for all.
Imagine, for a moment, what life would look like if we replaced our limited mindset with a more “natural” one and allowed one other to just be?
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