Plantare is a Latin word that means to plant, or fix in one place. Sometimes we confuse this idea in our lives. We may sometimes feel that we are stuck in one place because of past decisions we’ve made; that we planted ourselves in one spot. The problem with this mindset is expectation. The expectation that we need to be uprooted in order to find ourselves where we want to be. What’s closer to the truth is that a destination is not where we need to ground ourselves. We simply need to be rooted in reality. Once this happens, most troubles dissipate, because the focus is on where we are in the moment, and there’s no thought given to where we’d rather be.
When we observe others doing something that raises our moral and/or ethical hackles, we may have the tendency to see it as an intentional act. However, the grossest wrongdoing is accusing another of wrongdoing when ignorance was the culprit. We then are showing our ignorance in making assumptions. The good news here is that a deep breath and calm mind can fix our perspective, for assuaging the ignorance of others may likely be outside of our sphere of influence. If not, the better news is that there’s a teachable moment for us to seize.
Mediocre is defined as “of only moderate quality; not very good.” Synonyms include: ordinary, common, average, adequate, passable, and tolerable. Is this a word we would proudly use to describe our lives? Is mediocrity ever something to strive for? Would we encourage our children to aim for adequacy?
Statistically, if at the end of our lives we were to look back on all our days, surely ordinary days would be the average. However, that doesn’t mean that knowing this should make us not want to push each day towards something more.
Our scenes, the people we spend a majority of our time with, are also the people who inform us of who we are. So the question becomes, “Is it growth or regression to develop tolerance for mediocrity?” Furthermore, if we feel we know the answer, and are choosing to do nothing about it, look inward before lashing out at present company.
Philosophy may seem axiomatic, but it’s not. We can live by it, but we can’t solve for it.
If we are not first responders or persons paid to save lives because we are trained to save lives, what then is our intention when we aim to save others from difficult situations that are by no means life threatening? The rescue is about what makes us feel good, which robs the other person/persons from the opportunity to learn from a mistake or difficult situation to navigate. “What are we rescuing?” becomes the question more than, “Who are we rescuing?” In these instances, we are giving first aid to our insecurities, giving them CPR and resuscitating them so they may live to see another day. Nobody mourns the death of an insecurity. Fear mourns the death of insecurity.
When is the enemy of now. It may seem like a riddle, but it’s perhaps one of the truest statements. A thought that deathbeds fear, and therefore should be given great respect – now! It’s called life; let’s make sure we’re living beyond breathing.
Dribbling a basketball serves as a wonderful life metaphor. It begins with potential energy converting into kinetic energy when we apply force. That force collides with a surface and Newton’s 3rd law enters: for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.
When practiced with patience and desire, this fundamental skill becomes part of our muscle memory. In other words: control is in our hands. We use our potential wisely so that it works for us. When standing still, dribbling is fairly effortless once our controlled initial force is applied. The ball returns, and we begin this rhythmic, graceful dance between wrist, floor and the space between.
However, this action gets complicated when we want to move, especially when we encounter obstacles. Therefore, we must learn to accept that spending the required time on the fundamentals is essential, so that when we choose to move, we can do so with the same control we have whilst standing still. We often get caught up being concerned about learning more, consuming as much new information and skill acquisition as possible as a means of taking leaps forward or to be flashy, instead of focusing on the basics. When we approach life in this manner, we rely more on luck than preparation. Practicing the fundamentals teaches us how to pivot with control and grace.