I'm Kirk Wheeler, it's February 18th, 2021. I'm so glad you're here today.
I've been thinking a lot about my family in Texas, where they're experiencing severe power outages and water shortages. In Houston they're having to boil water from the city, and out in West Texas, my mom shared a picture of her melting ice, so they could flush the toilet.
We take so many of our modern conveniences for granted, but the world we live in has been built on exactly these kinds of outsized events, and we can leverage them for our future growth. From power grids to pandemics, failure can be the seed for a better tomorrow.
“A seed neither fears light nor darkness, but uses both to grow.” ― Matshona Dhliwayo
Being in a remote place at night with no lights of any kind can sharpen your senses in a way that night in a town just can't. There's something primal. Fear of the dark is ancient. But what we choose to do with that fear is up to us.
If you're in a place right now, where you can close your eyes. Let's try an experiment. The sun has just gone down. The wind is settling. Let's say you're in the desert and there's no wood for a fire. It's mostly a moonless night and it's becoming extremely dark.
What happens to your eyesight in these moments is really interesting. Your eyes adjust. You adapt. And if you were to set up a permanent camp in this space, you would learn all of the sounds that are strange right now, the animals, the sounds of the dunes, shifting in the distance. Eventually you'd learn to have some of these things work to your advantage, or if there was no advantage to be gained, you would learn to adapt and live without some things.
As long as we have water and are able to eat, and maybe a little shelter, we can grow from there. We're like the seed that can use both the darkness and the light to grow, our triumphs and our struggles. But we need to remember how powerful fear of the unknown can be within us, and learn to tame it.
There's an equity in this idea and there's a lot in that word, equanimity, but really it's just a place or a state that resides within us where we can be undisturbed by our experience, or the external things that we're being exposed to, and carry on.
So what's the takeaway. Like the seed, the humans you are raising have the ability to grow from both their successes and their failures, the darkness, and the light.
It's up to you to help them learn, to leverage everything that happens as an opportunity for growth. This is really the heart of the growth mindset, right? That we're all able to grow, no matter what the external conditions are. From power grid failures to pandemics, how we move forward is up to us.
I hope you find this helpful. Be sure to take care of yourself today. Drink some water, if you're in Houston, be sure to boil it. And remember, there is no perpetual parenting playbook. We're all learning as we go. And with curiosity as our map and a willingness to use both the dark and the light to grow, we can be ready for anything.
So good luck. You've got this. I'm rooting for you.