It’s time to prune the roses

Taking life lessons from the aftermath of pruning

I was recently asked by someone to think about and write my thoughts about pruning the roses. Writing, I, believe, is good for the soul and allows you to clear your mind. Glen’s brief, or instructions were quite clear…. Write down 3 points, and 3 sub-points after that to organize and present your thoughts. I’m respectfully going to disobey by keeping the topic, but writing from the heart.

I can’t get away from thinking about the branches that are cut from the rose bush. I know nothing about gardening – I am simply just not that way inclined, so I don’t know why pruning occurs, or what value it adds to life of the plants. Somebody offered to prune our 3 little wild rose plants the other day, and I can only write about what I saw.

Let me tell you what I saw. I only saw a few short sticks left on the rose stems. I only saw a pile of what was previously a part of the rose bushes. It lay there, in the way, and headed for the dustbin.

Now, how can we apply this to life in a meaningful way? Let’s see… There’s this:

  • The pruned part of the roses do not lose their identity. They remain thorny.
  • The pruned roses have potential. Each of the twigs can be planted in fertile ground and become a brand new, flourishing rose bush.
  • The pruned bushes are less valued by those who don’t understand their future potential and are sent to the dust heaps in order to get rid of them.
  • The pruned roses will decompose and become fertilizer to provide essential nutrients and become fodder to other plants.

For each of us, there comes a time when a cycle of our life is completed. It is organic, and we shed what is no longer needed for the next chapter. However, the impact, the lessons, the value of our past need not be forgotten. It still has incredible potential – to breed new life, to provide essential guidance and growth for our future.

Thought the past lessons and experiences may have had some hurt, some scars, some roughness about them, their true value is still in remaining authentic and true. If we recognize the thorns in our lives, and we don’t try to hide them or sweep them aside, they will be what helps us to improve, to do things differently, and to do things better.

Of course, there will be those who despise the value of our lives and past experiences. This will happen, and will be because they don’t understand the value as we do. Let’s acknowledge this, and move on. We are living our own lives – not theirs. We are dreaming our own dreams and heading towards our own destiny. We don’t live for them and should never allow the naysayers, and those with words of disdain to cloud our lives, our passion and our dreams.

Let’s see those times of pruning, and those off-shoots for the value that they really are, and for the value that they bring to our lives.

Random thoughts and rubbish about the Olympics

Firstly, congratulations to all the athletes for their excellent performances, effort, dedication and sacrifices. I’m sure that it must take an incredible amount of effort to do your 15,000 hours of practice and deliver a performance that lasts for two minutes, yet defines your life and legacy. Well done.

I can’t help but think of a few Olympic sized thoughts – the silly side. Let the games begin:

  • Why is the Olympic Games only held every four years? Surely country and city economies deserve to be brought to their knees more often? Also, if they are games, why does everyone take it so seriously?
  • If you win a medal in the olympics, are you the best athlete in the world at your sport? Somehow, I’m just not so clear on that. And if, like in soccer, there are age limits for participation – whats the point?
  • If you choose a name for your local sport federation, you should think about how the name will be misconstrued in the unlikely event that there is a screw up. SA’SCOCkups somehow reminds me of the cANCer moniker – unfortunate and ill-conceived media-driven agendas to discredit the policies, policies and policies of our sporting and political liberators who scheme hard to take us backward into the future.
  • Equestrian – should that not be called equestria? I live in South Africa, not in South African!!! In any way, its such an elitist sport, maybe that’s why they decided to give it a nationality. “Hey…look at me, I’m an equestrian!” (Mrs Mitt Romney mostly)
  • What value does this ribbon gymnastics nonsense add to life? If the Olympics were held in South Africa, the next logical use of the ribbons would be for distribution in our currently less disadvantaged communities – so that the children here can tie beautiful ribbons in their hair and bring some much needed color and brightness into to their lives.
  • Same too about synchronized diving and any other sport that requires winning by judges subjective decision. I say…cancel the sport, and make Michael Phelps dive like 50 meters down from a dizzy height before he swims his 800 meters to claim his gazillionth gold medal. At least I’ll watch that.
  • On the subject of subjective judging to select a winner – surely that system is flawed? To my mind, the earlier you perform, the fresher the mind of the judge, and the less lenient the scoring. Surely as the days, and as the Olympics progress, tiredness, fatigue, boredom and lenient, moderate scoring prevail, giving the earlier competitors an unfair disadvantage?
  • With all the violent crime in South Africa, it is amazing that we don’t win all the medals in clay pigeon shooting hands down!!! (I was going to say something criminal about all the gold, but maybe that would be an Olympic sized stretch)

Aaah, well! Caster has just won her silver medal, and I think that’s awesome. It gives our talented kids some inspiration and, hopefully, the encouragement to go out and do it for themselves.