I present to you: dandelions. Some see a weed, others see a wish.
“When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.” (1 Corinthians 13:11)
“The practice of kindness is the daily, friendly, homely caring form of love. It is both humble-a schoolboy bringing his teacher a bouquet of dandelions-and exalted-a fireman giving his life to save someone else’s. Kindness is love with hands and hearts and minds. It is both whimsical-causing our faces to crack into a smile-and deeply touching-causing our eyes to shimmer with tears. And its miraculous nature is such that the more acts of kindness we offer, the more of them we have to give, for acts of kindness are always drawn from the endless well of love.”
“To have an inner life, to think, to juggle and leap, to become a tightrope walker in the world of ideas. To attack, to riposte, to refute, what a contest, what acclaim. To understand. The most generous word of all. Memory. To retain, a geyser of felicity. Intelligence. The agonizing poverty of my mind. Words and ideas flitting in and out like butterflies. My brain a dandelion seed blown in the wind.”
“A man who took great pride in his lawn found himself with a large crop of dandelions. He tried every method he knew to get rid of them. Still they plagued him. Finally he wrote the department of agriculture. He enumerated all the things he had tried and closed his letter with the question: “What shall I do now?” In due course the reply came: “We suggest you learn to love them.”
Anthony de Mello
“I was as unburdened as a piece of dandelion fluff, and he was the wind that stirred me about the world.”
(I have sHITTYpecial neighbors and I am trying to find the silver lining.)
You forcibly become an early riser. As the early hours of dawn are the only hours that allow you to indulge in the peace and quiet.
You forcibly become social and productive. As you hungrily welcome any chance to get out of your room whether with friends or to run errands.
You forcibly become attuned to new music, artists, and the 560,984,324 tracks of White Noise that exist on Spotify. As the only way to cope sometimes is to mask the noise.
You forcibly become articulate and scholarly. As you make full use of the Podcast application on your phone and all the free audiobooks on Youtube.
You forcibly become a creative thinker. As you think of creative solutions to solve the problem: whether to drill a “Quiet Please” sign to the side of your house, or to strategically move your desk by the window so you are always aggressively-passively making eye contact with them (in hopes that this will yield some shame–yet to be tested).
You forcibly become patriotic and shout God Bless America and kiss the flag. As you now understand what a privilege it is to live in a country where law enforcement will answer to noise complaints (also, you have finally understood the point of paying taxes).
You forcibly become conscious of your temperament and are forced to get a perspective. As you now have to develop coping mechanisms to be able to talk to yourself and calm it down when rage strikes.
You forcibly become acutely aware of what you require in your next residency (and relationship). As you now dearly uphold “No talkers/ No children” banner whether in a neighbor or a partner.
You forcibly become grateful. As you now savor peace and quiet and the little things in life that you have always took for granted.
You forcibly become more Christian and understand the complexities of the Bible. As you run to Jesus in prayer when all else fails. You now know the weight and depth of “Love thy neighbor” (Mark 12:31) as this command takes on new meanings in your life.