We’re having a rare summer storm. Summer storms in the high desert generally consist of light rain that doesn’t last long and wind. I’ve been sitting on my couch, looking out the window at the globe willow in my front yard, blowing in the wind. It got me thinking, but I’ll come back to that.
Are you the kind of person who sometimes has a hard time keeping your mouth shut? Or, in this day and age, your fingers from typing responses on social media? It’s something I sometimes struggle with, mostly when it comes to hypocrisy or judgements or narrow, limited perspectives. I tend to be okay at first, to just ignore it, but when I’m constantly barraged with it it finally begins to wear, and I give in. I get annoyed, and I give in, and I write a response. Generally speaking, it never goes well. My experience has been that most people enjoy living in their bubbles, their tunnels, and don’t want to hear alternate opinions or be given the opportunity to see things from other perspectives. That’s not always the case, but it has been most of the time. Maybe the reason I struggle with that is because I’m not like that.
See, I enjoy things that make me think. I tend to get disturbed easily. Some books that have disturbed me greatly are Lord of the Flies, Into Thin Air and The Heretic’s Daughter. And yet, I LOVE those books! Why? Because they made me think. Because they opened me up to new perspectives. I never just dismiss something simply because it’s not what I believe or because it’s different than my own opinion.
Not too long ago, a friend posted a political article on Facebook. For the most part we have polar opposite beliefs when it comes to politics. But I read the article anyway. And I laughed my head off! It was the most ridiculous, hypocritical thing I’d ever read. However, I didn’t stop with giggling and move on, I decided to dissect it and see if there were any valid points to it. I like to be challenged. I like to think. In the end, I continued to think it was ridiculous, hypocritical and just downright funny, but it did give me the opportunity to think about why I believe what I do and only strengthened that belief even more. Out of it, I found even more reasons to believe what I do and validity for my own opinion. I’m grateful I didn’t reject it outright or dismiss it as stupid without actually trying to look at it from another perspective. And sometimes, taking that opportunity might change our beliefs or it at least might allow us to be more understanding and compassionate toward others. But not everyone sees that, and for some stupid reason I feel like I have be the one to show them, even though it rarely does anyone any good.
So back to the tree. I was thinking about how the tree blows in the wind. The trunk and the branches move, arc, bend, but they don’t snap or break. The roots of the tree hold it firm even in the midst of turmoil. It might be really annoyed at the wind for pushing it and making it so it can’t stand up straight like it wants to, but it doesn’t give in. So I want to be more like that tree. When those winds blow, tempting me to do something I know won’t make a difference, and will probably just make things worse, I’m going to attempt to think of my tree. Move, arc, bend, but don’t snap. Just hold firm.