Roses for a Philosophical Garden
by Ferida Wolff
I was fretting after the election that our country was still in adversarial mode. It seems to me that we could be working together for the benefit of people rather than the advancement of political agendas.
It was in this frame of mind that I taught my Wednesday morning class at the local recreation center. We did not talk about the election and what divides us but rather what we can do to help those affected by Hurricane Sandy. We discussed how supporting ourselves in positive ways can help us to support the people we interact with – family, friends, neighbors, those we meet casually or formally.
When class was over, one of the participants handed me a bouquet of peach-colored roses. She thanked me and said how much she enjoyed the sessions. I was touched by her gift. It reminded me that appreciation is a beautiful gift we can all offer.
I thought of our politicians. They have a new chance to encourage each other to help our country fulfill it promise. Wouldn’t it be more functional to give appreciation for what works instead of trying to negate it to boost an opposition opinion? And if something isn’t working, why not dig deeper into the situation to find seeds of other possibilities while maintaining an atmosphere that nourishes growth?
What a marvelous philosophical garden we could have if everyone could plant his or her people-supporting ideas within our society. Some of them would not prove viable, no doubt, but some might be just what we need. And it wouldn’t matter which side of the aisle the planter came from because a good idea would grow into something beautiful and benefit all.
I am grateful for my roses and for the kind appreciation they represent. Yes, roses have thorns but their splendor makes our cautious handling worth it. Governing presents thorns, too, but when we work together, when we genuinely cooperate, we can grow a magnificent garden.
Interested in growing roses? Here is a site to get you started:
We began a rose garden for the first time a few years ago in California, where the season is about seven months long. That lengthy season requires more attention, feeding and training than other parts of the United States. At the moment, a couple of roses from our Mr. Lincoln bush is perfuming a living room that we're preparing for a Thanksgiving meal.
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