Roses and garlic scapes (flower buds of hardneck garlic) are neighbors in my garden. Each has a distinctive scent. However, both combine their talents of beauty and whimsy in flower bouquets. Cutting-back is helpful, as both thrive best when pruned. Garlic scapes are tasty and by cutting back the scapes, the buried garlic bulb grows larger. Similarly, it is through pruning that future roses increase growing power.
What needs pruning in your internal garden of thoughts/emotions/sensations for your growth? This week I found several parts in my personality that could use a little cut-back. My worried thinking does not leave much room for creative problem solving. By cutting back “what-if________” fears about the future, there is space for growth in one’s total outlook. Mark Twain adds a note of humor: “I’ve had a lot of worries in my life, most of which never happened.”
Multi-instrumentalist Randy Armstrong, co-founder of Do’a World Music Ensemble, composed this worry advice: “Worrying does not take away tomorrow’s troubles, it takes away today’s peace.”
Anxiety and worry are at a high pitch in our world today. We are compromising our personalities with our crescendo worrying. What we need is more creative thinking. Pause your defensive worry thoughts. Ask if they hold any stereotypic thinking.
Inventor and psychologist William J. J. Gordon (yes, there are 2 J’s) suggested that the mind has 2 basic jobs: 1) “Make the strange familiar” — through incorporating new experiences and facts into what you already know; 2) “Make the familiar strange” – by freeing something already believed from some stereotypes you have gathered throughout your life. Bill Gordon was a creativity guru. All of us might benefit from more creative thinking when the “strange” keeps propagating every day.
Guns cannot be safe-guarded with open carry privileges and a political winner-takes-all agenda. There are no winners in “open carry,” unless you count gun manufacturers and gun stores as the A-team in America. History will not look favorably upon the U.S. obsession with guns. Ironically, it now is OK to have “open carry” guns while women’s liberty about carrying unwanted (and sometimes dangerous) pregnancies have been pruned. Will gun manufactures offer to pay hospital bills for those with gunshot wounds? Will state legislators take on raising children?
Just as a garden has opposite kinds of plants living in peace, we need to figure out how to make peace with those who hold different viewpoints. We must create harmony on our common planet with limited resources. Shared plants and music can bring people together. Perhaps we need a planetary anthem.
Anthropologist Margaret Mead has an encore quote: “One characteristic of Americans is that they have no tolerance at all of anybody putting up with anything. We believe that whatever is going wrong ought to be fixed.” Let’s fix our thinking. Let’s celebrate independence from defensive thinking this July 4th!
Pearls of Peace (PoP) Quiz:
96. What can you do this week that stems from creative thinking?
97. How might you contribute to planetary peace?