The sun and the wind decide to have a contest one day. A man wearing a very nice coat is standing below minding his own business. Each proposes that they can most quickly remove the jacket from the man. The wind starts the contest very confident of an easy victory. The wind throws gusts directly at the man while the man grabs on tightly to his jacket. With increasing strength the wind continues to gust at the man, but the harder the wind blows the tighter the man grasps his jacket. Let's pause the story for a moment to reflect. The analogy that enters here is one of a battle of ideas. Have we ever been so sure of our idea that we have unintentionally thrown increasingly stronger gusts at our acquaintance? While our acquaintance may not wear a coat on the outside they certainly have one on the inside that we cannot see. When we berate our fellows with opinions we can create a defensive environment. While on the defense mutual respect and mutual benefit are forgotten. We care only to make it through the uncomfortable situation as rapidly as possible with our emotions in tact.
Back to our story. After blowing with all its might the wind finally gives in and submits to the man. The man still wearing his jacket is ready to move on with the rest of his day. Now the sun gets a chance to remove the man's jacket. The sun has a completely different approach in mind. So the sun peered down at the man from behind the clouds and smiled a grand smile, and the clouds parted ways. The man glanced back up at the sun and removed his jacket voluntarily as he wiped the sweat from his brow.
How can we be like the sun instead of the wind? What circumstances provide the most vulnerability for us? When do we risk losing control of our emotions the most? These are all questions that demand an answer. By spending time alone we can think ahead about how we may present a friendly environment to others. We may also catch a glimpse of how profoundly we impact those around us every day. We all wear a coat on the inside attempting to protect our feelings. Think then upon how we may prove to others that we pose no danger to their emotional well being. Know that we will find difficulty making a point, working together, or winning the respect of others if we force those around us to grab on tightly to their jacket.
Copyright © Robert Clinton Chedester 2012