What can we learn by playing in the dirt?

Last week I shared a message that really resonated with me from an entry in The Daily Stoic by Ryan Holiday. This week I want to talk about a different message that he shared earlier this week in his Daily Dad email. As you may be able to tell, I enjoy reading his thoughts and applying them to my life.

     Earlier this week, his email was focused on teaching children responsibility. He explained the simplicity of using gardening to teach that lesson. The flowers and vegetables are just one of the great outcomes from the time spent in the garden, but the lessons can last a lifetime!

The application of this concept in my home is even more valuable to me. You have probably noticed that we have a lot of plants in the office, but you should see our house and yard! Dr. Carol LOVES plants, and would definitely argue that we need more of them throughout the office. Nothing makes her happier than having a day with nothing to do but to dig in her garden, or cut flowers from the flower garden in our back yard, or pick the vegetables that she has grown.

In the email, Holiday highlights a book titled Outdoor Kids in an Indoor World by Steven Rinella (which I have not read yet...). He boils down the book to two key bullet points when using the concept of a garden to teach responsibility. 

1 - "Through our actions, we have the power to make things thrive."

2 - "Neglect is deadly"

Could it be any simpler than that? That message is so true in so many varied aspects of our life. At work. At home. With friends and neighbors. The message applies everywhere! 

The gardening process can obviously teach us a lot, but the plants themselves can teach some pretty cool lessons too.

1 - Plants don't set limits on themselves

2 - Plants get stronger by enduring struggles

3 - Plants are always looking at the bright side (AKA the sun)

4 - Plants adapt to the changes that life throws at them.

5 - Plants grow at their own pace.

Whether you are talking about time spent gardening or the plant itself, there are a lot of lessons to be learned while playing in the dirt!   

Movement is my medicine,

Dr. William "Chip" Bleam

Dr. William "Chip" Bleam


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