What We Can Learn From Nature

The rain falls to the earth and moistens it. The grass, plants, and trees grow. It gives us water to use and helps to sustain life.  Then, we look forward for a clear sunny day!

What is the lesson here? As we adapt to living in this world, survival depends on everything that exists–the rain, the sunlight, the plants, the birds, the trees, and things below the earth such as the rocks and minerals to name a few.

As newborns, we need the nurturing from our parents to develop and to be trained according to culture. When we become more independent, we still need parents and those that play roles for us, such as the teachers, family, friends, and other leaders in our communities to help us to become more productive and responsible individuals.  This reminds me of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. It builds a pyramid of the course of life. He proposed that the lower needs must be met before we can reach self-actualization needs, this is the point where complete independence is reached; that is the clear sunny day or the brightness in our lives.

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As we strive to attain new goals, I think that we may need to climb the pyramid again.  For example, physiological and safety needs will definitely be needed for our survival, but what if we must learn the Internet to be gainfully employed due to circumstances beyond our control or for upward mobility? Until we can acquire adequate training and confidence for those jobs , along with psychological needs, that goal might not be achieved to its fullest, thereby requiring us to rethink our self-fulfillment needs.

Pandemic Flush

The COVID Pandemic has kept a lot of us locked into our homes.  I was saddened to even know that I would be experiencing something like this and I’m at senior age now. I have read about the Spanish Flue and the other viruses of hundreds of years ago but that was history and for me to imagine how it was for those people.  I saw some pictures though of people wearing masks but were not keeping the distance. This COVID virus has killed more people in less than a year than the Vietnam War killed in 10 years!

Everything has just about changed with the way people are interacting with each other. I have participated in a few phone conferences, online conferences, and have used the social sites more to keep my company. Those social sites are more entertaining for people because nowadays people don’t call too often or you may not even see them unless you are in a place of employment and with this pandemic maybe not for a long time. I have also done some virtual tours since I don’t plan to travel until later on.

To top things off, it seems as if the continents are experiencing much unsettlement of the normal pace of life that people are wondering what is happening in this world.

Concrete Versus Abstract Thoughts

Concrete and abstract things are like the mind and the body.  One can be seen and the other unseen. One is observable and the other unobserved.    One is physical and the other metaphysical.

When we think about love, hate, happiness, education, sadness, or feelings, for example, these are abstract things.  Their meanings have different connotations for each person. We cannot measure them.  It is all in our heads about what they are.  It is like asking someone about his or her feeling about something.

Contrary to what is abstract, concrete things are what you can see and what you can touch. You can observe these things with your five senses. A red flower will be red to everyone observing it.  If it has a fragrance, that will be true also. We can say that a certain species of plant will bear red flowers, have a special shape, or size. This is measurable.  Now if we say that we think that the plant is pretty, that will be abstract thinking because what is pretty for someone might not be so beautiful to another.

We know that another word for our brain thoughts is the mind.  We cannot see what others are thinking.  When we think about what triggers others to behave in a certain way, we think about what is going on in the mind. The person experiencing it can reveal the negative or positive thoughts that resulted in a particular behavior.  However, the behavior on the other hand is observable and therefore becomes action of the body.

We then can say that when others see what is going on around them that this is concrete thought about something.  On the other hand, how they feel about it is all in the mind.


About Love

I tell myself repeatedly that when I fall in love it would be forever but I fall in and out of love and that is definitely not forever.  What makes us have that romantic love? Is it the way we are touched, spoken to, cared for, or what? What I do know is that kind of love would keep you thinking about the person all the time.  It has to be a good feeling.  If it is a bad feeling then you are heartbroken.  A romantic love is one that feels so good.

We are attracted to others when we like something about the person, or, I think, a spiritual attraction.  A spiritual attraction is one where you might not see those qualities in the person at all, but something draws you in to that person.  What draws you is similarity of something or familiarity.  The love grows afterwards.

Ordinarily, people like others who are good to them.  When someone cares about your well-being, you appreciate the goodness of the person and you would like the person for that.  You would draw more and more to that person because everyone wants to be loved and cared for.  One of our basic needs is to feel loved.   A basic need is something necessary to be able to function right.  That is why when we are not loved we feel so isolated and yearn for that need.  We might fool ourselves that we do not need anyone, which is not true really.  That is just a survival instinct, and it is better to survive than not to.

Talk about being heartbroken.  It means many sleepless nights twisting and turning.  How in the world would someone want to break someone else’s heart?  It is a terrible feeling! Just as you would feel good to be loved, not being loved is the complete opposite.  Things do not feel or be right anymore.

That is why we need to plan for partners.  If we plan our partners, we might be better off.  Then, this goes back to long ago, when parents chose whom they wanted for marriage to their children.  Should this be so? No. Individuals must do their own planning.  It may be a good idea to find those things each other like and think that they will want together for all the time.  They must plan for what will be happiness for each other.

The Mind and Your Health

I believe that the mind has a strong effect on the physical health of the person.  If it is off balance, the body will not function as normal.  Forgetfulness sets in, and lack of interest in doing things. It takes strong will power to cope to help alleviate the stress it will cause.

I saw a movie one time where the husband had left the family.  The children were okay but the mother was so depressed that she stayed in bed without going out of the bedroom.  She definitely was sad and depressed because of her separation from her husband.  She lost weight, refused to socialize with the family or anyone and was literally feeling sick.

She finally had overcome it when another man started to talk with her and she made friends with him.  Until then, she even did not get dressed and have breakfast or lunch with her children.  After her friendship, she was again back to her normal self.

Here, resilience is the key.  How well are we to bounce back after a situation that made us so out of tune with things?

Simple coping skills:  Talk with others who can help with the problem; go to social events; chat with a friend; talk about your problem with family or close friends; get out of your bed every morning ; freshen up, and do something around the house or exercise; read; or do something on your computer. You would be amazed how this will work to help you feel right again.

Adjustments in Life

Although we have wonderful and modern washing machines, they are operated by electricity.  We do appreciate this looking back to the days of the scrub boards. I think though that the inventions of the potable washing machines need to be improved in the area of allowing for the clothes to wring the water out.  Much of them only wash lightweight clothes, but have to hand wring and line dry.

Considering power outages and failure of washing appliances, it has become necessary to have a back up appliance for potable washing of clothes and one that can wring them too.  Some weeks ago, I had clothes in my washing machine and it conked out with a full load.  Oh, what a task that was—to wash every piece, put them into a basin to rinse, and then to hand wring them.  Handwringing was most tiring because it requires the art of wringing clothes by hand, twisting and turning them.  A couple of the pieces were jeans and that was hard to do.  Those pieces that can’t wring out well will take more time to dry, possibly days.

I cannot make the potable appliance I would like to have, however, I wish for one that can wash and wring the clothes.  I want to be prepared for power outages and appliance failures.  I grow up with wash pans and wash boards and without running water so I know how it is. I like some of the models but the proficiency of a complete wash in missing, such as wash, rinse, and wring. This might sound a little strange, but the commercial mop with the squeeze handle is a good idea for improvising for washing wringing clothes.  What is missing from that idea for washing clothes is the ability to wash independently, but it will squeeze the water out.  Maybe the inventors can work on this idea.  I might have to get one of them for outages in case of storms too because I need something that can wring the water out of the clothes, and properly!  After Hurricane Hugo the power was out for months, and I had to go to a water truck after the storm to fill up buckets to have water for bathing, cooking, and washing clothes.  My children were young too, so you could imagine how that was for keeping everyone clean.  The water truck wasn’t too close either but some yards away.  The greatest task was to wash clothes.

Meaningful Learning

Learning much without a vision of what we want to do in life is fruitless. The mind will roam from one thing to the next because it is searching for satisfaction– that satisfaction that happens when contentment for attaining a goal is met.  A fruitless mind reminds me of the term tabular rasa which refers to having no knowledge of anything unless you experience something about it. I look at this too as a wondering mind that is in limbo when experiences are not stored in it.

Think about a baby.  How does a baby learn? Isn’t it the environment that develops the mind and thoughts of a baby whose mind at birth is blank? Once the baby experiences things, knowledge begins to form. Would the baby think and do good or bad things? It is all up to you.

So in order to benefit from learning, a goal must be in mind; also practical application is necessary. Practice what you learn. Without applying what is learned, idleness sets in and things are pushed back in the mind.  In other words, they might be forgotten and what was learned would become meaningless.  This applies to all of life experiences.  It could be love, career, writing, homemaking, painting, and etcetera. Remember, a mind is a terrible thing to waste.

Another side of this is that you would only want to practice good things.  Who wants to do bad things, right? We see, hear, and learn good and bad things.  The bad things need to be forgotten.  So we must think positively when applying what we have learned.  Not everything in our experience is good.  Our parents and society determines what are good morals that we should practice and we are guided by such to make our learning meaningful.