Breaking The Mold

clear beautiful flower-snowdrop yellow Crocus makes its way from under the white snow in early spring in the garden

I have heard it popularly stated that by small and simple things – great things could be accomplished. Spring is a season where I feel this principle is illustrated quite clearly in nature. Consider the example of a small and seemingly insignificant seed, perhaps even invisible to the eye, that has been lying dormant under a blanket of organic cover and snow since autumn. As the snow melts and the temperature increases, that seed begins to germinate and comes to life. Within a relatively short window, that seed grows into a plant and then vegetation of a much larger scale. The plant begins its photosynthesis cycle and converts carbon dioxide into the oxygen that many of the other inhabitants of our planet need to sustain life. It doesn’t take a very long progression to see how a small and seemingly insignificant seed can have a great impact on many other things in orders far greater than the seed itself could imagine.

I feel this pattern reflects a principle in our own lives as human beings. When one considers the billions of humans that have lived and are currently living, one would have to be disconnected from reality to consider the self greater than the harmonic standard of the species. On a cellular level, this might be true – much like the single and inconsequential seed, one of the billions scattered across a dormant field of grass. Within each of us, I believe we have more potential than an, albeit complex, cellular accident of nature solely destined to consume, reproduce, and perish. Perhaps the individual seed sitting in its place as one of the billions would perceive itself in a similar humility. From our human order or observation, we know that the seed has potential, and its life is necessary to the collective whole. It would stand to reason that, given an understanding of its situation, the seed would have little comprehension of what it could become and how significant it could be to variables that it does not know to exist.

Is it possible then, that each or any of us, given our numeric inconsequentiality, could make a difference or even have an impact on the greater whole? The act of a seedling breaking out of its casing creates a chain of events that may lead to something greater. I have seen this in many people’s lives as they are required to reinvent themselves professionally, take a moral stand on a principle that they believe in, or choose to create peace by illustrating tolerance towards another’s point of view.

In the initial tender stages of a germinating seed, it requires a relatively great exertion of strength to split its casing. It takes courage, will power, and strength to change or split our respective seed casings confining us to intellectual, emotional, spiritual, or professional dormancy. Once the courage to grow has been initiated: roots can spread, stalks can develop, and leaves can unfurl. Only hindsight will tell that a small act of courage in a sliver of time had a changing impact on a sphere greater than one could imagine possible.

By this line of logic, I feel it fair to state that one individual can make a difference, but the choice to do so lies within the individual. One must first initiate the courage to change and then exercise the strength to make it happen. The level of possibility depends on the coding within the individual – but the potential is within us all. I hope that as the citizens of the Heber Valley ponder this concept this spring, that we decide to use our energy to build up others and the budding community around us. Choosing to be a positive influence is contagious and a much-needed salve in our societal status quo. Criticism without a viable solution is a coward’s path. I challenge the community to break your respective molds of confinement by implementing positive thought and solution-based dialogue into your daily routines.

Thank you for your continued support of Heber Valley Life. I hope you truly enjoy our spring 2020 collection of thoughts and stories.

I am a stubborn individual. Many times I have pondered whether this character attribute is, in fact, a virtue or a vice. I can see how being persistent in certain circumstances has led me to personal success. I can also see instances where my refusal to alter a course has brought unnecessary hardship to my life. I suppose the answer lies somewhere within the fabled words of Kenny Rogers in that you need to “know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em, know when to walk away and know when to run.”

Life is a gamble these days. The status quo that we knew — even one year ago — no longer exists. The paradigm is shifting to an undefined end. In our current social, political, and economic environment: victories are most often rewarded to those with the most flexibility. However, change is intimidating; and just like a game of cards, making the wrong choice can set you back farther than where you started. The weight of deciding how and when to change any variable of your life can be paralyzing. How does one determine when it is most prudent to stay the course or make a change?

Start by prioritizing regular time for personal introspection. Quiet and meditative time can open windows into your deeper self. I believe that there is a light within our consciousness that (being unaffected by all things temporal) can help us see how things are instead of how they appear. All you have to do is slow yourself down and detach from the world enough to catch a glimpse of that wisdom and light.

Ponder your situation and derive an implementable solution. There is little good in taking on problems that are outside of your sphere of influence. I turn to the oft-quoted ‘Serenity Prayer’ when mitigating stress or anxiety created by things that “I cannot change.”

God grant me the SERENITY to accept the things I cannot change, COURAGE to change the things I can, and WISDOM to know the difference.

Reinhold Niebuhr, American Theologian, 1951

Sins of omission are real. With that stated: it is imperative to recognize that you, as an individual, have little to no control over certain things. Understanding this will help in prioritizing what an implementable change is and what it is not. If the ailment is something that you cannot do anything about — emotionally letting go of that thing could be the exact change needed to find your center again.

When looking to make the world a better place, it is imperative to get your foundation in order first. Make those changes in your own life that will allow you to be a shining example to others first. If you can define your unique personal values: you develop a base of support that will enable you to share yourself with others.

Strength and leadership principles originate in the home. The next place to implement change is at the family level. Strive to create harmony within the relationships that matter most. When outside personal and professional networks see a caring and confident human being with all of their personal affairs in order — they will be more inclined to hear your message.

My challenge to the Heber Valley is to make 2021 a better year than it’s predecessor. We have virtually no control over natural disasters, disease, or pestilence. We may not have much influence at the Federal or State levels of government. However, every individual CAN make changes that will affect their strength and happiness. You can choose to find gratitude in an environment ripe with fear and disaster. We can all positively influence those people that we interact with daily. That is within our control.

Thank you for supporting Heber Valley Life magazine. We live in the best mountain community in the American West. It is my genuine pleasure to highlight those that make it so every season of the year.