Hello again, this is your host Will Luden with Revolution 2.0™. Welcome. Please do take the opportunity to learn more and subscribe at revolution2-0.org
Everyday Wisdom: Watering Flowers and Getting Results (EP. 171)
Wisdom is all around us, waiting patiently for us to see it. For example, the sign at the rental car lot reads, “Do not back up; severe tire damage.” Good life advice.
I picked up the outside flower watering job from my wife this year, and I have been constantly amazed–shocked, actually–at how thirsty they are. And how they thrive when given daily, generous, waterings. Are we underestimating how much water, how much TLC, love, belief and attention, we all need? That’s today’s example of Everyday Wisdom.
That is the subject of today’s 10-minute episode.
It is almost mid-October, and I continue to be rewarded with a profusion of beautiful colors and shapes of the flowers that I water. And when I skipped my watering chore, thinking that because the day was cool and overcast, they would lose just a little color and perkiness. For example, at the start of October, I skipped two days due to laziness, and due to my belief that the weather did not warrant watering. Many flowers died during that time, which I attributed to the season. The third day I gave all the beds a generous watering. On the fourth day, the profusion of color and life returned. Huh. So much for many of my beliefs about how the flowers needed to be watered only every other day in the heat of the summer, and less than that in the cool of the fall. They need water daily. And a lot of it. And I found that the rewards are greater than the effort.
And aren’t we human the same? Don’t we need, and need daily, copious amounts of love and attention, and don’t we wilt–just a little–when we don’t get it? And don’t we recover quickly when we get what we need?
Let me share some fun–and valuable–rules relating to today’s Everyday Wisdom.
Have you heard of the “hug rule?” It takes 4 hugs a day for survival, 8 hugs a day for maintenance, and 12 hugs a day for growth. And hugs can be verbal as well as physical. Engaging in both types of hugs is good for the soul.
And the “Rule of 4’s?” We humans can live 4 weeks without food, 4 days without water, 4 minutes without air and 4 seconds without hope.
Okay, ready for one more “rule?” It takes 10 “Atta-boys” to make up for one “You did what?”
Okay, Will, what is the point of this episode? Why aren’t you writing about something important? Something that is in the headlines? Forgive me, but what we are talking about today is indeed in the headlines. And is something very important. Have you heard about Ellen and George W.? Ellen DeGeneres and President Bush happened to be sitting next to each other in the owner’s suite at a Cowboy’s game, and a photo of them hit social media (or is it anti-social media?). In the same suite were Laura Bush, Jerry Jones, the owner, his daughter, Charlotte, and Ellen’s wife, Portia de Rossi. A Twitter storm hit Ellen with screaming criticism for consorting with the enemy. She defended herself beautifully on her TV show, with her core message being “Be kind to everyone.” And even after her we-all-need-to hear-it-message, Be Kind to Everyone, many of her critics are still at it, dumping hate on her for everything from hanging out with a mass murderer who hates gays, to accusing her of being in the same privileged class as President Bush, therefore worthy of scorn.
Be kind to everyone. Tell me that if all 300 million of us in America, or better yet, the 7 billion of us on earth, started doing that tomorrow, started being kind to each other tomorrow, that most of our problems, our core issues, healthcare, immigration, inequality issues, etc., would not be far easier to solve, and solved in a permanent way. Ellen’s critics seem to feel that the solutions we need, that we desperately need, are better found in the deepening divisions that we are creating. The very divisions they are busy deepening and widening
I’m with Ellen. Be kind to everyone.
As with flowers, we all respond wonderfully to regular and deep watering. Kindness. Genuine listening. Adhering to core principles. Seeking common goals. Giving people verbal hugs. And physical ones when appropriate. Don’t starve anyone of hope. And remember the atta-boys.
Caution: I am not at all advocating being a wimp. I am talking about something far more difficult–and dramatically more effective: Being gracious and kind while holding firmly to our principles. It is easy to fly off the handle, using cliches, accusations and insults when engaging with someone who holds very different thoughts and beliefs. That will not get us anywhere, and might even be a roadblock to achieving the results that we want. But it is easy, and at least temporarily, satisfying. These temporary and misleading satisfactions are things, results, like high-fiving ourselves after putting someone else down. Getting strong approval from others who think the way we do, and will applaud anything they agree with. Fact-based or not. Logical or not. Whether or not what we did or said makes things better.
If we want real results, results based on common goals that will move us–and the world–forward, we need to love and listen, be open to new and better thoughts and ideas. And hang in with our principles–all at the same time.
And we can do that. Together.
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Will Luden, coming to you from 7,200’ in Colorado Springs.
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