Six Words or Wisdom?

Good morning friends. Welcome to another patchwork of Saturday musings from me. A good day to be inside, it’s actually raining here on the prairie, which should suppress the clouds of dust that billow up every time a vehicle passes our place. (We live on a gravel road that turns to powder when it hasn’t rained for a month.)

Because the birds seemed to have disappeared a couple of weeks ago — off to find a drink somewhere, I imagined — I took in the shallow basins of water I’ve had out in the yard for their benefit. But yesterday we saw a small flock of robins in a nearby tree and later one was sitting on the bowl of water I leave out for the cats. Since it was almost empty, poor robin would have barely gotten his beak wet! So I put out the basins again.

We had a hard frost earlier this week; thermometers said -4 C. Squelched my balsam and marigolds, but we’d brought the tubs of tenders inside for the night, so I still have colorful petunias and patience plants blooming outside –and the pansies have withstood the onslaught. Yesterday the temp got up to 30C — a one heat wave that could give us the illusion that summer’s going to stay awhile!

The Ragtag Daily Prompt this morning is ILLUSION. While the warm weather may be convincing, when we see our maples completely yellow, and the maple leaves lying on the ground, we sigh and know more frosty nights are coming. It appears most grain fields have been combined already, and huge round bales of straw dot the golden stubble. The sandhill cranes will be along shortly to do the final harvest.

Inside our house I have a “Mexican hat plant” that must have been impressed by Jack & his Beanstalk and decided to do likewise. Bryophyllum diagramontianum, a type of kalanoche also known as “mother of thousands,” looks like this and grows STRAIGHT up:

Whole plant of Bryophyllum daigremontianum.
Image: Dave’s Garden.com
SIX-WORD Wisdom

As to the title of this post: Six Words or Wisdom…what brought that on was seeing another Six-Word Story Prompt from Shweta. The word prompt for this week is MOTIVATION. Here’s the link, if you’re interested in checking out this prompt.

I may contribute something yet, but I’m seldom motivated to do such brief story prompts for the simple reason that it’s such a challenge to say anything really meaningful so tersely. It’s not hard to string six words together, like “No motivation for even simple tasks,” but what does that tell anybody? “Even simple tasks exhausted her now,” tells you something happened to her oomph. But what?

Anyway, once my mind started in that direction, I thought of “He wanted to, but he didn’t.” Six words, but again, nothing much revealed. On the other hand, “He who hesitates is lost,” is only five words but contains a whole chapter from the Life’s Lessons book. In other words…

“Decision is a sharp knife that cuts clean and straight. Indecision is a dull one that hacks and tears and leaves ragged edges behind.” — Jan McKeithen

Consider the six-word sagacity of “A stitch in time saves nine.” The old adage, “Least said, soonest mended,” is brilliant wisdom in four words.

In the past half-dozen decades the idea was: “Out with the old-timers’ cliches ’cause they’re meaningless to this new generation. Toss out the old anchors; this ship is sailing on to new frontiers!” But the new frontiers are getting scary; so many ships have been battered and broken on new-found rocks. Maybe there’ll be a reaching back to those old anchors again, the wisdom that got Grandma and Grandpa through tough times. Hey, I’ve even seen an article in a psychology magazine promoting self-denial!

Blogger Sue over at Jibber Jabber is wishing for a return to The Golden Rule in a Not-So-Golden World. Longing to see common courtesy in comments. She writes: “After all of this rambling on, I guess what I am really trying to say is that we are overdue to go back to our roots wherein personal integrity meant something, stood for something.

When readers comment on an article they don’t like, especially when they can comment anonymously, courteous disagreement often gives way to nastiness and name-calling. Some of my biggest shocks have been in the language Americans get into when it comes to politics and individual politicians. It’s one thing to disagree with someone, but to call any person — no matter who or for what reason — degrading names degrades the critic, too, IMO.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this post, but I think this is enough random musing. I’ve gotten sidetracked this week; now I want to get back to my articles about Jesus and the Kingdom of God.

The SQUISH Heard Round the World

“Online Outrage”

That’s the phrase that jumped out at me as I read an article online this morning. An American couple made a family decision, posted the fact on social media, and now face a storm of outrage from all over the world.
Then I read something else online and my muse immediately started to spin and weave the two stories together, finally giving me the odd title for this post.

Fellow blogger Judy-Dykstra Brown posted this morning about the hornworms that live on her Virginia creeper vine, hornworms being the larva of the hummingbird moth. We had a hummingbird moth visit our flowers one summer and I thought it was cute. Judy decided to move them elsewhere rather than leaving them to eat her vine or squishing them. I trust she won’t get a lot of online outrage from objectors. People’s reactions are unpredictable.

I Decide to SQUISH

Let’s say I decide to plant a garden and post the story of my efforts, essentially inviting the whole world to oversee my my project. Some people think I should put my garden in the east corner of my yard, near the trees to gain the benefit of their shade; some think I should put it in the other corner where there are no trees to rob the plants of moisture.

People in Timbuktu may have their ideas about what kind of fertilizer I should use. Gnu dung works best, or maybe antelope. People in Australia think I should lay in pipes for irrigation while Ontario gardeners tell me I should put in lots of drainage because in Ontario it rains so much a garden would be flooded unless it’s well drained. (Well, not quite, but you get my point. This isn’t Timbuktu, Australia or Ontario.)

So I grow my garden, posting online pictures of the resulting lush veggies. One day I find this caterpillar and do a video of it climbing on my pepper plant. Then I SQUISH it. Will I be subjected to online outrage by environmentalists? Will save-the-planet types vilify me on Facebook? Prairie bloggers may give me the thumbs-up and say, “Good for you. I hate those things!”

Because I’ve involved them, people in far-flung lands who know zilch about prairie pests or our ecology will still feel they have an investment in my decision. My followers in Timbuktu, Ontario, Brazil and Australia may denounce me online because I squished a worm. After all, am I not guilty of decimating the number of creatures on the planet and depriving some bird of its rightful diet? Facebook pages may decry my foolish decision.

Yes, this is a silly comparison, but when we invite people all over the globe to peek into our lives, we face consequences. People all over the world have two things in common: they have opinions and they like to give advice. It’s universal.

Social Media as International Opinion Poll

When we put our lives “out there” on television, Facebook, You-tube, and invite the whole world interact, it’s like inviting the global community to be our parents and older siblings. If they spend time following us, they will want to help us along. If we have difficult decisions to make, some of our followers will understand and support our choice, while others will disapprove – maybe even be insulted that we didn’t ask their advice. Get enough people involved and you may get a storm of online outrage.

The article I read tells how, through a foreign adoption agency, a couple adopted a toddler. Three years later, after dealing with various health and behavioral issues that have overwhelmed them and their other children, they’ve made the painful decision to surrender their child over to foster care. And a lot of readers think that’s terrible. “If it were me, I would never do that.”

While this isn’t an unheard of situation and other adoptive parents have faced the same dilemma – I heard of one case here in our province where the baby’s health issues proved more than the new parents could cope with – since this couple put their whole story on YouTube, they now have thousands of people criticizing their motives and their decision.

But my heart does go out to the couple, especially when I read that they’ve actually received death threats, even vicious threats to harm their other children, because of this decision. Seeing that, I had to shake my head. How can people get so involved in the life of complete strangers that they’ll go so far as the threaten the lives of people they’ve never met?

Peace of Mind Versus Media-Generated Outrage

Years back when Nicholas Sarkozy, Prime Minister of France, married Carla Bruni, an Italian singer and former supermodel, my French penpal wrote, “I hate him. I hate both of them.” I asked her, “Have you ever met them? “No, but I hate them.” Her feelings were 100% fueled by the media.

I understand how the media works and why. Competing with an audience steep in television dramas, they need sensational news. They need to – and want to – provoke strong emotions. Getting people emotionally involved in a story is what sells news and channels public opinion in the direction they want it to go. From what I can tell, the emotion the media does best is outrage. Journalists and reporters have proven very able to orchestrate news that will stir up public outrage.

But if I allow the media – or anyone else — to influence me to hate someone, I’d better not criticize the Germans who allowed Hitler to inflame them against the Jews. We all hate the havoc this one man wreaked, but cool common sense has to guide our feelings and actions, or we’ll be ripe for another type of Hitler to come along and use our hatred as his tool.

For myself, I don’t want to hate anybody. Not Trump…or Trudeau…or whoever. I may guess, but I can’t possibly know how they think, feel, react, or what their motives are. Also my own peace of mind is precious to me. Hate and outrage are draining. I like to know what’s going on in the world, but refuse to let my peace be shattered and emotions shredded by the actions of politicians. I may be concerned about different things our Prime Minister says and does, but I don’t hate him.

I’m saddened that a couple with initial good intentions have had to go through this devastating experience, but I can offer neither support nor censure, seeing I haven’t walked a mile in their shoes.

The Moment Has Come!

My destiny is forever altared — Whoops! I mean altered. (My destiny was altar-ed 50 years ago, but I’ve already posted about that. 🙂 )

No, this is all about an e-mail I received this morning from Word Press informing me that the new Block editor is now the default on my blog. This is your notice that you’re about to be inundated with posts from me as I practice this new system. (Oh, where is that “Justify” now?)

New and Improved… Easy to Use
I see it everywhere!
For me these words are welcome as
a bees’ nest in my hair.
I used to turn dials ON or OFF;
now I fiddle and fiddle
to start and stop appliances —
and timers are a riddle.
To keep Word Press-ers “on the edge”
and blogging round the clock
with utmost versatility,
we fogies must now BLOCK!

Another New Editor?

A notice from Word Press today tells me that we’re getting a New & Improved Classic Editor and it will soon replace my current one. As I read the announcement, my impression was that this will be a hybrid: the best of Block + the clarity of Classic. And that I’ll be notified before the changeover.

Have you other bloggers been switched over yet? How are  you finding it?

Flourish.plainer

Now for a couple misc. scribbles to end the day.
Here’s a joke I read on-line not long ago:
What did farmer Jones say when his cow ran off down the road after the morning milking?
“She won’t get far on an empty tank.”

And here’s a similar story which happened at the vet clinic where my husband works one day a week:
It was a cold winter day and one of the workers had started her pickup to let it warm up before heading home. She left it sitting in front of the Clinic and went in to do a couple more things, but when she came out, her pickup was gone. In that brief time someone had stolen it.
It was recovered two blocks down the street. The first place she’d planned to stop after work was the gas station, as the tank was almost empty. 🙂

A Six-Word Argument

Welcome to Week #50 of the Saturday Six Word Story Prompt.
Click here to read the guidelines for the Saturday Six Word Story Prompt series.

Prompt for Week #50 (Aug 8, 2020 – Aug 14, 2020)Gratitude

First off, I’m grateful that my internet issues this morning were indeed just a blip and are now resolved. 🙂 And now for my mini-tale response:

“Grateful? Sure I am. But still…”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This was inspired by a wise friend who told me years ago that when you’re making an apology or discussing something, as soon as you say the word “But,” you’re going in the opposite direction.
Just think how many long-winded arguments start out with…
“I do agree with you, but…”

The Day of Small Things

Hello Readers and Fellow Bloggers,

I’d like to welcome all the new readers and followers of this blog, and say a big “THANK YOU” to everyone who’s taken the time to come visit and read my thoughts on various subjects. I appreciate you all!

I’m taking a break from blogging this month. However, I’ve posted lots of quotes, poems, articles and stories over the past eight years and I hope you’ll browse around and read some of them.

And here are a couple tidbits of wisdom for you to ponder today.

“For who hath despised the day of small things?”
— Zechariah 4:10a

Bird+Q.ArtsyBee
Image by ArtsyBee  —  Pixabay