The leaning tower of Pisa is one of the most buildings in the the world. Its lean comes from what I suppose was a flaw in geo-technical calculations. It is unstable soil and settlement of the foundation that causes the tower to lean.
Yet, what could have been disastrous turned out pretty spectacularly. Probably because it started to lean during construction at a slow enough pace that it could be mitigated rather than leaning on completion with the chance of toppling over at any moment.
The point is that sometimes things don’t turn out the way we want them to be. But that doesn’t mean they don’t still turn out well. The leaning tower of Pisa was accidentally great.
Would we still love it without the lean? Probably not as much.
Would we still love it if it was supposed to lean? I doubt it.
It’s easy to find yourself stuck between helping someone and fixing things for them.
When you help you teach and offer tools giving the other person a chance to grow, develop and learn to do things for themselves. When you fix things for people they’re likely to become reliant on others to do things for them because that is all they know.
Often when we see people we care about face challenging situations we lend a hand. You think you’re helping but what you’re really doing is fixing the problem for them. And so as time passes and the person faces more challenges they don’t know how to do things for themselves because they haven’t learnt how to overcome.
We do it because we care and we don’t want to see the people we care for suffer. But in doing so we forget that these people have strengths within themselves and that they are also capable of overcoming their own challenges.
And so the lesson lies in finding the balance between helping and fixing. I’ve learnt that support plays a significant and often overlooked role. To look the person you love in the eye and simply say ‘I’m here for you and I’ll support you through this’ may be more powerful and have longer lasting effects than fixing things for them.
‘Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.’
That thing you’ve been working on could be the reason you end up quitting your job or it could just be a labour of love.
That word just has a way of diminishing the words that follow. It makes it seem as though a labour of love is a bad thing but it’s not, at least not to me anyway.
Not every project or thing you work on is supposed to be how you earn a living or even make you money. And it’s not about promoting the idea of the struggling artist who puts their heart and passion into all that they do but can’t make ends meet.
It’s about the person that works as a receptionist but leads a conservation volunteer group on the weekends or the Math teacher that also paints.
The significance, importance or worthiness of what you do should not be based on how much money you make or even how popular you are.
I think creativity, vulnerability, connection, generosity and joy matter so much more.
Over the past week or so Valentines day has been on my mind. Not because there’s anyone in particular I’ll be spending the day with but more just thoughts of romance in general.
Last year I posted a photo on instagram and made a joke in the caption that I was checking my phone for V-day messages. A couple of months ago I wrote a poem for someone and last week I thought it might be nice to share it with the person on Valentines day which granted is kind of lame but I’m that kind of person.
But then a couple days passed and I realised that writing a poem for someone is even more special and meaningful than I initially thought. And I find that with many of the poems I write, they represent a fleeting thought or a moment that has passed, instead of my true overall feelings.
So instead of sharing a poem with a past love, I’m going to share it with you instead.