By Chris Gandy
Following an unusually dry winter the heavens opened above our place about 10 days ago and so far have deposited about 15 inches of rain.
Living on a hill as we do means that rainfall of this magnitude is little more than an inconvenience. Mind you being 21st century pampered humans, that doesn’t stop us whingeing and moaning – enough is enough, when is this going to stop etc. etc.
As I turned the heating up another notch and looked out from my home office window across a rain-swept paddocks I noticed a group of sheep standing there exposed to the elements and soaked to the bone. Looking at them I could but think how their ability to endure adversity is so superior to mine.
During times of heavy rain sheep don’t bleat and carry on. They simply turn their backs to the weather and resolutely stand still, remain firm and suffer patiently. While it mightn’t appear so, they are focused on their number one priority – maintaining body heat. They don’t waste an ounce of energy on pointless activity. They also have this weirdly serene look which seems to say …
“Everything in this world, even adversity, is finite. The rain will end, I just need to converse my energy, stay alive and wait for it to happen”
Don’t get me wrong, I am not suggesting this instinct to endure is purely an animal trait. Human history is littered with examples of people displaying wonderful endurance. Look in the refugee camps, ghettos and war ravaged areas around the globe and regrettably you will find millions more.
Take a peek into our own personal and work lives though and what do we see? Are we losing the will to endure? Do we respond to a serious problem with counterproductive, energy sapping behaviours such as flight, blaming, violence, complaining, internal stress and a myriad of other responses society today seems to encourage?
Just maybe we and those around us would be better served by standing firm and remaining focused in the belief that the sun will come up tomorrow?
Our sheep will tell you it works for them!.
About Chris: Chris Gandy is the founder and a director of Cause and Effective – an organisation dedicated to assisting cause-based organisations maximise their social impact.