Monday, April 10, 2017

Mending Fences

Image result for free images of broken fences

With the return of Spring, finally, I am enjoying getting back out there for my daily walks. I especially like to stroll through the neighborhood on the weekends so I can watch folks getting their yards ready for the season. Yesterday I saw one man tending to some damage from last month's late season snow storm. He was mending a fence that had broken under the weight of the snow and some fallen tree branches. Fence mending is an important aspect of gardening. It keeps the critters out and provides something for climbing plants to cling to. It also supports larger bushes and shrubs as they grow. Yep, fence mending is a very important job.

Watching that man reminded me of something I'd seen online last week. It was a video of a little girl about 5 years old who was explaining why it was important to be nice to people. She said that if you're mean to people you might: "break their feelings." I found that phrase to be very profound coming from one so young. I'm sure she'd heard grown-ups talking about not "hurting" some one's feelings, but "breaking" some one's feelings puts a different twist on it, because it follows that if you break something you need to fix it as well.

More often than not most of us do not set out to hurt some one's feelings. We may blurt something out without thinking, or react to our own hurt without considering all the innocent bystanders. Especially in these days of social media, it is easier to put something out there that is intended to inform or explain, but ends up being hurtful to someone who doesn't know your story and can't see your face or hear your tone when you say it. When we realize that we've "broken some one's feelings," we need to dig into our spiritual tool box and do some fence mending.

So what do you have in your tool box? Honesty, apology, love, understanding, consideration, putting yourself in the other's shoes, compassion, empathy? So many tools are at our disposal if we just take the time to admit our mistake, take responsibility for it, and mend those fences. If a well-mended fence can help support the plants in the garden, how much stronger can this garden that we call life grow?

I think I'll take another walk around the block and see how that man is making out. Maybe he can use some help.

And so it is.