“To thine own self be true.” William Shakespeare
“Be a tree, deepen and spread your roots to withstand the storm”.
Everybody seems keen to spread this message but the questions arising remain:
- What of the soil?
- Will the roots thrive and hold the tree firm if the soil is not good enough?
The fact remains that however deep the roots are, the tree will not withstand the storm for long if the soil is poor. Ask farmers; soil is a major factor in making a planting decision.
We live in a world where conforming to societal structures and dictates, is often considered of utmost importance. My worry concerns ‘Self’ wants. It saddens me when I hear people say that they never had a choice for I believe there is always a choice and yes, every choice has consequences. By all means, take advice from those who are more experienced but make the final judgment yourself.
Every individual has a different perspective to life. The experiences are different too. While it is good to have in mind the need for deep, well spread roots, one must first factor in the soil. For this will determine whether the tree will stand forever or be shaken by minor storms and fall when a major storm sets in.
Most of the time, our decisions are influenced by fear of failure i.e. achieving the opposite of our goals. Unfortunately, the best things in life are on the other side of fear and all we need is that step of faith. We have to break the wall of fear, of discouragements, criticism, and disappointments so as to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Prosperity is first characterized by failure and most turning points for success come dressed as criticism and discouragements. The stronger the soil, the longer it can hold the roots for the tree to get light at the end of the storm. We are the determinants of beating the negativity to meet the positives we most desire of.
Parents, friends and society at large, have their opinions as to who they want us be. We have different paths and the stories to tell are different as well. We have them as stepping stones but we are the foundation and so we have the major role of making what we want come to a reality. The good thing about stepping stones is: they can be changed at a smaller cost as opposed to changing the foundation. Changing the foundation means total demolition and that means a fresh start. Can we go back in time and change everything, change ourselves in order to fit the wants of society?
Remember about owning who you are and doing the right thing? It is true that society has different standards of measuring what is right or not. Actually, right is relative because everyone has their version of understanding. The important thing is for the ‘Self’ to be confident of the right. Do what is right and ensure for sure, it is right. Avoid mistakes but if they happen learn from them. Learning from mistakes becomes bearable if it is our inner self that pushed us to try. Remorse and hatred characterizes imposed decisions and leading such a path blurs the desired goal.
This is a generation where people want to fit in to avoid criticism when in actual fact, humans will always find something to talk about, whether we fit in or not. Whether good or bad, society will not stop moving. We can never stop birds from flying over our heads but we have the power to stop them from perching and building nests there. What we want to hear will be said and so is what we don’t want to hear but at the end of it all, we have a choice. The saying that: you cannot stop and throw stones at every dog that barks your way is a perfect confirmation of this. Take in what is important and helpful and ignore the rest. Not everything said should affect our paths or indeed, goals.
We have a duty to be real to what our desires and wants are, and to being real to ourselves. Until we discover this, complaints about life, broken marriages, bad relationships and even bad jobs will never cease. Do not set to please others at the expense of the ‘Self’. While pleasing may be short term, the impact is a lifetime (a falling tree during the storm never determines its fate. The fall may be hard that it breaks up and ends up being useless or used for a valueless purpose.).
We are the custodians of our desired paths. If we choose a rough path, then getting rid of thorns and rocks to make the way bearable will be our personal responsibility. We ought to choose and choose our paths wisely. Best wishes, Gertrude Nyatichi