Just over a year ago, for reasons I won’t go into here (because they no longer matter at this point and will hopefully soon be forgotten) I started posting on instagram. My pictures do not feature people but usually scenery. My intent is to post something beautiful. Considering I live in the high mountain desert that most people find “ugly” this is a rather personal feat. I attempt to accompany the pictures with short word posts of encouragement. Sometimes, the pictures repeat. Sometimes I have to borrow lyrics or others’ words. For the most part, I feature my pictures and my words. All in an attempt to strengthen and edify anyone who happens upon my little insta-home.
I thought for this week’s blog, I would share some of the sayings that I have used and elaborate on them. As you know, I believe in the theory why use few words when you can use lots and lots more?
If you had the privilege of being raised by good parents, I hope they live long enough for you to recognize and acknowledge that fact. For that is a rare gem indeed these days.
Typically, when a person reaches his or her teenage years, they begin asserting their independence. It’s a normal progression of life. It is to be expected. During this time, a person will begin to think their parents don’t actually know what they are doing. Maybe they see their parents fall from the hero pedestal they had placed them on as a child and see them more as, well, human. Flaws and all. Whatever the case, this is the time when the kid feels smarter than the parent.
How long this stage lasts varies. For some, it is relatively short. For others it is a long stretch. Hopefully, relationships aren’t severed for good during this phase. But if the person truly does have good parents then it should all work out.
Coming out of this stage the person begins to realize two things. One, they are not, in fact, as smart as they thought. And two, their parents actually are smarter than they realized. If the parents are still alive during this awakening that is a blessing. And if, in fact, they can let their parents know they have arrived at this long-waited assessment that is a blessing for both the parent and the adult-child.
Love ‘em at their level.
There is this notion that love can lift and inspire a person to a higher level of living. I believe that is true, sort of. Love is a great motivator if the person receiving the love is willing to change. They have to do the work though. Technically speaking, a person can’t be “loved” into a different lifestyle unless they want to be.
So, this seems pretty straightforward. A person must be loved a their level or else it will come across as condescending or just wasted completely. If it truly is love, there will be acceptance in not only them but their activities and interests. There will be no hidden agenda of trying to change or mold them into someone they have no intention of being.
A weed is a plant with no self-control.
I’m not sure why I am getting plant-interest memes on my Facebook page. I must have liked a stray one that randomly appeared and now I’m getting a few more. One was, “a weed is a flower out of place.” I modified it to a weed is a plant with no self-control. Because really, what is the difference between a so-called weed and plant? Well, now that I am getting all these plant-based posts and memes on my Facebook page I can answer that a little more clearly. But I stick with my original definition. A weed tends to overrun the wanted plants. A distinction that becomes important when comparing a weed with say, just for example, an annoying person that might now be in your circle.
Today’s decisions are a culmination of all of your yesterdays’ decisions.
A few years ago, I read “Highest Duty” by Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger and Jeffrey Skiles. Sully, you may remember, was the pilot who landed an airplane on the Hudson River and saved all 155 people onboard. I expected the book to be a more detailed version of the 2016 movie (Sully: Miracle on the Hudson) but it was instead more of a memoir. The book didn’t focus so much as the one event but on several events in the pilot’s life that led him to be able to make the decision and take action that made him a life-saving hero.
On a walk, I started thinking of that book and thought how Sully attributed all those non-related events leading up to the 2009 emergency landing. I realized that all my decisions I make today, right now, this moment are the result of all the decisions I have ever made. When I chose to act, when I didn’t act, when I succeeded, when I failed, all of it, every bit of it. My today is a result of all my yesterdays. And it never stops because when today becomes yesterday, it will influence tomorrow.
That’s a rather confusing thought. The short end of it is what I choose today is a result of all my other decisions I have ever made.
People have always underestimated me and that is fine. What others think of me is none of my business, after all. It only hurts when I am one of them. When I underestimate myself is when the most damage is done.
This is a pretty straight-forward, hard-earned lesson. It is the type of message I most want to get out there. Not that I expect anyone to believe a short quip like this but if enough messages are out there inundating people’s space, maybe they will read it. If they read it, maybe they will ponder it. If they ponder it maybe they will internalize it. Once it is internalized, maybe then they will begin to believe it.
All of these thoughts were posted on my instagram account accompanied with pictures. Typically the images are of sunsets and trees because I do live in the high mountain desert so that’s my view. I don’t include people in my posts because most people are sensitive about being thrown in on social media without a say in the picture. It’s just easier to leave people out and focus on the beauty of the earth. God has been generous in sharing his artwork with us so I take advantage of that.
It is a small thing I do to share positivity and encouragement. My reach is small but I keep plugging away. What do you do to share beauty in the day? What are your favorite inspirational places online or in person?