A regular at the retreat will be leaving in the next few days for an overseas job. Because he cannot take them, his wife and children will be staying in the local area. I and another with a green thumb have been asked to help their oldest set up a vegetable and flower garden to give her an idea of how to raise plants and take care of something. While it is not a new idea for me, I will have to say it is the first time I am going to be able to hone the skills that my father gave me in not only gardening/agriculture but also in teaching. So far the only agreed upon plants are tomatoes, which the oldest loves to distraction. I will follow up with progress on this project.
This got me thinking about an earlier post, The Skill of Kindness. Many times, I think as a community we overlook the small little lessons and teachings that are passed to the next generation. Often, this is in the form of our own actions and words that we do not think about. I was reminded of a quote from Margaret Thatcher while watching a movie the other night:
“Watch your thoughts for they become words. Watch your words for they become actions. Watch your actions for they become… habits. Watch your habits, for they become your character. And watch your character, for it becomes your destiny! What we think we become.”
While this particular quote is geared towards the actions of an individual and how they think, act, and behave, I would venture that these lessons do not stop at our own consciousnesses and carry on to the world around us. While most would say that this is especially true when dealing with those who see us as role models, authority figures, or teachers, I disagree. Anything we put into the environment or community has the chance of settling into the fertile mind and sprouting for good or worse.