I recently found myself watching the movie “Michael” with John Travolta and Andy McDowell. It’s an older flick I know well and as I watched I found myself laughing out loud. I highly encourage you to watch it if you’d like a lighthearted, easy to enjoy show from the 90’s.
As I watched there were a couple of statements that stuck with me. One was a story about the North Wind and the Sun. They were having an argument about which one was better. The North Wind saw a man walking down the street and said he was so good he bet the Sun he could make the man lose his jacket.
The Sun took that bet and the North Wind blew and blew. The man’s jacket flailed in the wind and yet he clutched it closer to his body and cinched the belt tighter. No matter how hard the wind blew there was no way the man was going to relinquish his coat.
When the wind was finished the Sun smiled and shone brighter. With the loss of the wind the warmth of the sun felt so good the man removed his jacket and continued on his way.
I laughed and then wrote down the story to remember for this musing.
Can you think of a time when this analogy could apply to your life and actions?
A strong desire for someone to change, act or be a certain way so you try to push them to adjust and adopt your way of thinking.
There have been several times I’ve been the North Wind. Most often it comes up with a “Middle man” situation, the term “Don’t shoot the messenger” applies here. To illustrate, here are a couple of examples:
- the gate agent doesn’t schedule the planes
- the front desk doesn’t set the Dr.’s hours
- the cashier doesn’t order stock for the shelves
- the waitress doesn’t cook the food.
In spite of this knowledge they’re the ones we blow up at expecting them to willingly and kindly assist us. They deal with countless “North Winds” on a daily basis. From personal experience, I’ve received a LOT more help when I’ve chosen to be more of a “Sun”. Being kind and expressing my understanding of their stance while asking for assistance in mine furthers my progress tremendously. People WANT to help people who are kind;)
Have you spent a ton of energy, ranted and raved in an attempt to make things different than they are? Pushing. Frustrated. Stubborn and stuck.
Are you in the process of doing it with someone or something right now? Can you see how they’re pulling their armor tighter and fighting against you? They dig in their heels as much as you do, waiting to see who will win.
Is it possible that if you stopped pushing and accepted them as a separate being with their own thoughts, beliefs, and emotions, they may soften their stance, and you could come to amicable ground?
The North Wind exhausted himself in his efforts to change the man’s actions. The Sun found ease in being himself and encouraging.
As I said earlier, there have been plenty of times throughout my life when I’ve hit my head against a wall in an attempt to change the reality before me. I desperately wanted something different, and yet I was draining my precious energy in the fight.
More often than not, when I stop fighting, sit back, and take in some of the Sun’s energy, things shift, and the way forward feels so much smoother. Things outside of me don’t necessarily change, it’s largely a mental shift, and yet, that shift is transformative.
The next time you find yourself being the North Wind, I hope you remember this musing. I hope you’re reminded of the Sun and find a new way to shed light on the subject.