The Bloom in the Driveway
The world is falling apart and there is no saving it. That’s what I’m hearing on all the news outlets. And from seemingly every candidate for political office, challenger, and incumbent. And their followers. Cheer up people and try to be nicer.
Let’s not forget the dandelion.
There’s no shortage of bad news, which is predictable since bad news sells and good news doesn’t. If my football team wins then that’s good news, unless you favor the team that lost – that’s bad news. Headlines tell us of disasters in vivid detail with all the drama and suffering horribly explained, photos adding more emphasis. Forget that children helped an elderly couple across the local street and gave them welcomed hugs, no one really cares.
Being nice doesn’t sell very well. Empathy? What does that mean? If you have it, it makes you look weak. Too bad, it’s a great idea to show understanding of your fellow human’s point of view. It isn’t necessary to always agree with them, but you shouldn’t go to war with them either.
Its beyond time to make a change in our behavior. Better late than never, but still urgent. Possibility is never impossible.
There’s a seam in the concrete that covers my driveway. Its where dust gathers, ants go marching on and wild seeds find a place to settle. The seam is where weeds find a root, where just enough moisture gathers to sprout a tiny little seed lifted there by fuzzy helicopter feathers from its origin in a nearby field. A dandelion with more responsibility than most will realize. It helps to feed the bees in the early spring before the more robust fruit tree blooms take the responsibility.
We humans struggle to be tolerant, always finding something to complain about or someone to criticize even when our own faults are greater than those of the victims of our assaults. Dandelions just do their jobs; drive over them with your car, pull them out of the ground or ignore them, they will persevere. Bright as the sun, they are easy for bees to find in the most difficult of spring weather. They do what they are meant to do, provide enough food for a short time so other species can survive. No complaints, no whining or name-calling, smiling when the world is frowning, they carry on.
We don’t have to sing Kumbaya around the campfire every evening but our divisive attitudes and merciless behavior should be tempered enough to ease the behavior and to quell the rebellions, keeping us from embarrassing ourselves. If humans are truly as intelligent and capable as we think we are, we should be able to call a truce long enough to understand one
another just a little better and perhaps find common ground that will put us on more peaceful paths.
The next time you see a dandelion smiling up at you from the sidewalk or your driveway, kneel down and touch the flower and say thank you for being such a good example.
Greg Henderson is the retired founder of the Southern Oregon Business Journal. A University of Oregon graduate and a six year U.S. Air Force veteran. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org