LESSONS FROM THE GARDEN
It has been stated that you never really know who your friends are until a crisis occurs and you need them. I have found this to be very true. To manage my feelings, I became philosophical and concluded that friends and family are like flowers.
There are HOT HOUSE FLOWERS that can only exist inside a carefully controlled space where conditions are perfect for them to thrive. In human terms, these are people who gather together for a purpose and any camaraderie that exists does so within that context. The context could be a workplace, a club, sports team, church group or a family reunion or holiday, etc. These contextual “friends” one will seldom see outside of the hot house. However, it is possible that some members of your hot house will become GARDEN VARIETY FLOWERS.
GARDEN VARIETY FLOWERS can venture out of the hot house where the conditions fluctuate but they are still nurtured and protected from the worst of the elements. This could be a coworker who will socialize with you outside of the workplace for a fun experience. A concert, happy hour or catching a bite is where the garden variety blossoms. You may feel comfortable with them like sitting in a lovely garden but take care for these “friends” may be with you only in fair weather. Under harsh conditions these flowers will shrivel and disappear.
The most valuable of everything in your garden are the WILDFLOWERS. These are the flowers that endure nature’s battering sun, wind, heat, cold, floods, and drought and come back year after year. These are the loyal friends and family that are accessible when you need help. They are there for you in easy times and hard times. Precious are the wildflowers.
But what kind of flower am I? Can I expect to attract wildflowers if I am not one myself? And if I am a wildflower to others can I expect them to be a wildflower for me? When people I helped did not reciprocate during my distress, disappointment and hurt haunted me. Resentment toward them was a crushing weight for me to carry and was discarded. It must be accepted that not everyone has the capacity to be a wildflower friend and some wildflowers have all they can handle without burning themselves out. Though any acknowledgment of kindness is food for the soul of the giver, selflessness should never be assumed limitless by the receiver. A reliable wildflower friend should never be abused. Compassion is not a weakness to be exploited.
I believe that empathy and compromise are the marks of a cooperative society and that cooperation will ultimately benefit all in that society. So, helping humankind is the right thing for me to do no matter what kind of flora I find in life’s path.
When life confronts you with hardship and you need a friend may your garden teem with WILDFLOWERS.
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