dirty hands flower

 

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“Be the flower that gives its fragrance to even the hand that crushes it.

 

 

Imam Ali

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Well.

 

I, frankly, cannot see how anyone could go through life without any optimism.

 

shoot flowersNot even a thread of optimism. Without it … well … how could you find the silver lining in anything? It seems like it would be a fairly dismal Life.

 

Fortunately I do not believe many people are that completely dismal. I actually think the bigger issue is that we sometimes feel suffocated by negativity and perceived ‘badness’ all around us.

It can seemingly crush us. Therefore, how can we give the fragrance despite all that?

 

I am not an optimist. I am a cynical optimist.

 

I am not a dreamer. I am a pragmatic dreamer.

 

I believe in hope … but more a ‘lunch bucket” type hope.

 

 

“Lunch bucket”?

 

 

Well.

 

Certainly … hope requires thinking. But thinking far too often remains just that … thinking. And no doing.

 

Lunch bucket hope is about putting in the work.

let-success-be-your-noise-win-silence-work-jard

Lunch bucket hope is about full dreaming and not hollow promises.

 

Lunch bucket hope is about the harsh truths and not ignoring all truths <including the harsh ones>.

 

Lunch bucket hope is about recognizing ‘what is’ can change but ‘what will be’ will not happen magically.

 

It is about believing that nothing may work … but that everything might work.

 

It is about understanding that there is no one silver bullet to solve something or to dramatically turn things around … but understanding that if you try 100 different things and each one makes even a little impact that there will be progress <and you get just a bit close to what you hope>.

 

It is about recognizing that Life is rarely simple cause and effect and more likely a series of complex intertwined events <not chaos>.

 

It is about seeing that Life is always a work in progress where many times progress is difficult to distinguish from stagnancy.

 

It is about seeing that change, more often than not, is neither spectacular nor disruptive but rather subtle nudges easily overlooked.

 

 

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“Between the end of that strange summer and the approach of winter, my life went on without change. Each day would dawn without incident and end as it had begun. It rained a lot in September. October had several warm, sweaty days. Aside from the weather, there was hardly anything to distinguish one day from the next.”

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle

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It is about accepting possibilities are not infinite but finitely exponential.

no-time-to-be-looking-at-the-bright-side-silver-lining

It is about understanding that pragmatism is a key component to hope … and doesn’t diminish it but rather enhances it.

 

And, lastly, it is about knowing there is more often than not a silver lining even if you cannot see it.

 

Look.

 

When you feel like you are getting crushed the last thing you tend to think about is ‘fragrance.’

 

The last thing you think about is grace, or empathy, or dignity or … well … optimism or hope.

More often we think about anger, fear, disappointment, blame and pessimism.

 

I, frankly, cannot see going through life thinking the latter. The former sounds slightly more dignified and certainly more … well … a happier Life.

 

I am not suggesting someone shouldn’t fight back if being crushed.

 

All I am suggesting is ‘hope’ is a pretty powerful weapon when fighting back – much more powerful and long lasting than fear and anger.

 

Don’t misunderstand “be the flower that gives its fragrance to even the hand that crushes it” as some mamby pamby soft thought. It is not. How you fight back is almost as important as fighting back itself. Hope and a little dash of optimism is unequivocally a better way to fight. As I wrote once … if you look at Hope in the eye and say “who are you?” Hope will almost always respond <as it bends close to you> … “I am something better.”

 

Regardless.

 

There will always be negativity, anger, disappointment, fear and any other thing telling-truth-piss-you-offtrying to keep you from where you want to go and grow. Losing optimism and hope would seem to me that you have quit. That you are defeated. I am certainly not willing to quit and I will do my damndest to insure I am not defeated.

 

I will fight, and fight hard, all the while seeking to ‘give fragrance’ even to all the negative aspects of Life seeking to crush me.

I tend to believe the fragrance pisses them off.

And I like that.

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Written by Bruce