Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Sun and the Wind

There's an Aesop's Fable that goes something like this:
The sun and the wind were having an argument about who was the stronger. The wind finally saw a traveler on the road below and said to the sun that he knew how to settle the disagreement. They could see who could get the traveler to remove his coat. The sun agreed and hid behind a cloud so the wind could go first. The wind blew and blew, but the traveler only held his coat tighter. At last it was the sun's turn. The sun gently warmed the traveler, gradually making him warmer and warmer. The traveler opened up his coat and finally removed it entirely as the sun shone gently upon him.

I love this fable; I think it's my favorite of all the ones I'm familiar with. The lesson is so perfect in so many situations from parenting to politics. As a parent, sometimes you find yourself blustering at your child, but that doesn't really work. You only butt heads and set up power struggles when that happens. Instead, shine gently on your child. Let them know where they've gone wrong and correct them calmly and with firm compassion.

The lesson also holds with politics. I have a friend who is full of passion and energy and believes in many of the same causes I do. I mainly communicate with her through Facebook and she is constantly forwarding links for our causes along with strong posts about the actions we should take. That's a great thing, and I love the information and links, but it's caused her to burn out. Instead, in the future, I'm hoping she'll regroup and be more like the gentle sun, in it for the long haul. There are many fights to fight and it's going to take a lot of work to get things to change.

Anyway, that's my thought for the day. The sun and the wind....

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