Friday, September 04, 2009

The Unusual Bloom

It's September in Seattle. The temperature is getting colder and the days are growing shorter. There is a crispness in the air that lets us all know that fall is just around the corner.

The plants are preparing to drop their leaves or otherwise settle into 'cold weather mode.'

This morning, I was doing my 30 minutes of cardio on the treadmill as I looked out the window into my back yard. Something caught my eye. It was a single bloom on a small plant that usually blooms early in the spring. A bright red blossom stood out boldly against the green leaves of this little shrub.

"How brave." I thought to myself. I wondered at my reaction. Why would I think this about the lone little blossom?

Sometimes that's how my thoughts come to me. Something just 'pops out' and then I'm left to figure out what it means!

I realized that this little bloom seemed courageous to me because it was all alone in expressing itself at that moment. No other blossoms were coming out at this time of year! Something in it said "BLOOM" and it did.

In the human realm, if we do something that others around us aren't doing, we might be met with ridicule, criticism or even jealousy. If we outshine those around us, or achieve something that others haven't achieved it can sometimes be a lonely road!

In one of my favorite movies, "Rudy" there is a scene that speaks to this phenomenon. Rudy is a short, relatively unathletically talented young man who dreams of playing football for the University of Notre Dam. He hasn't got a chance of being on their team, but he's determined to try. Most of his family and friends ridicule him and make fun of his dream, AND of his efforts to pursue it. He persists... anyway.

Finally, after overcoming obstacle after obstacle, he is accepted as a member of the 'prep team' that helps the 'real team' get ready for it's games. One day, after practice, one of his 'prep team' teammates comes to him and says, "You need to dial it down out there. You are making us all look bad."

Rudy is giving 100% effort in pursuit of his dream. Those around him who don't give 100% don't like to be compared to him and his efforts. They try to squelch the drive and commitment that he displays. Fortunately, they fail to deter him from his course of action.

This is all too often the case, however. Others can sometimes be frightened and angered by those who simply give their best, shine or bloom... even when it might cast light on those who are not doing so.

Yesterday, I had lunch in one of my favorite Fast Food restaurant chains, Taco Time. The one I went to yesterday is not one that I go to very often, because of its location. I'm used to a certain level of service in restaurants of this type. It's usually not horrible, but certainly not the best. On this particular day, however, I had a guy wait on me who was just exceptional. Friendly, efficient, accurate, enthusiastic, helpful... all could describe this guy. He moved quickly. He helped his coworkers. He smiled at everyone he encountered. Customers obviously appreciated him the same way I did. He certainly doesn't need to perform at the level, but I'm sure inspired that he did!

Just like the plant in my yard, I believe we are meant to give our best to this life, no matter what others around us are doing, what they think of us or how they treat us.

The little plant in my yard reminds me of people like "Rudy" or the Taco Time guy. It inspires me! I want to be like them!!

So, no matter what others around you may do or say when you persist, excel, and give your best:


Bloom... anyway.

Give your very best... anyway.

My rogue September Bloomer!