Thursday, February 11, 2010
Paddle Your Own Canoe
I hate to even bring this up again, but we've received another blast of winter weather here...and it's pretty serious- blizzard-like winds, power outages, schools and businesses closed...Mother Nature sure isn't fooling around. So I think the snow total outside of my window is around 25+ inches but I think the worst is over. I haven't even left the apartment since Tuesday night. Talk about cabin fever!
But all of this got me thinking: What if all of this snow was rain? We'd be in a serious flood right now. I think we would all have to toss aside our pants and sweaters and zip up our wetsuits as we hop in our canoes for the ride to work. Hmm, that doesn't seem like something I'd like to do, so maybe I am ok with this snow...Anyway, thinking about all of us paddling our own canoes, it reminded me of a quote that I once read that offered some really great advice. (And no, it has nothing to do with the weather, thank goodness).
Love many, trust few, and learn to paddle your own canoe.
Besides being a cute little rhyme, I think these words hold a lot of weight. Who knew such great advice could come from a short little phrase like this? Well, I think we've got the proof for that right here. To me, these three little things are important factors in finding true happiness.
So let's start with the first piece: Love many. It's a given that you love your family members (hopefully): husbands, wives, parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, aunts and uncles.. but love shouldn't stop there. What about your friends, your neighbors and others that you admire? There's nothing wrong with spreading some love, and the more love you send out, the more love you'll have coming in. Like The Beatles said, "All we need is love, love- love is all we need" and I think they're absolutely right. So don't be afraid of the "L word", but instead, embrace it and offer it to those in your life that really deserve it. If you think about it, we all love love, so much so that we invented a holiday (that's coming up very soon) just so we can show someone how much we really love them! Or in my case, it's just a good excuse to go buy chocolate. But I think that this year if you don't have a "special someone" to be your Valentine (don't worry, that includes me too!), instead of sulking about not getting roses or chocolates, we should all spread our love around to everyone that is special to us.
Second: Trust few. Now we all know about the crazy world we live in and that it is just too easy to get duped into just about anything. There is no room to be naive or trustworthy of those we hardly know (or think we know). It's sad, but true. We should all take a cue from Robert DeNiro in Meet the Fockers when his character establishes his "circle of trust". So while we must be able to rely on those closest to us, be careful about your willingness to extend out that circle to others who may not have the best intentions.
And last, but most important: Learn to paddle your own canoe. This, to me, is the most important part of this quote. I think it is so important for us all to learn to be ourselves- after all, this is our life to live. After all is said and done, what matters in the end is that you've been true to yourself and can truly say that you're "one of a kind". You've read about how I feel concerning this subject in my post "Copy Cats" but I feel like I can't stress it enough. We all really do need to learn to paddle our own canoe, because no matter who else joins us in a ride down the stream, in the end, we're the one who can make sure it doesn't fall over the dam.
So today, take some time to think about this quote. It's a pretty easy one to remember, and I hope you will, because it really sums up great the advice we're always looking for.