Oh! It was tempting! In the large pot of luscious red geraniums, many of its blooms were past their prime.
What was the urgent temptation? Deadhead those straggly brown hangers-on! and tidy up this beauty!
But this wasn’t my pot of red geraniums.
So, I thought there could be a lesson here. The lesson seems to be a remedial one on manners:
Get over thinking about what I think needs doing!
I was a guest at a picnic supper . . . and while the ambience was laid back and friendly, pursuing this idea of pruning might just annoy or embarrass my friends, our hosts.
What do friends need who have worked hard to show hospitality? (Friends who are as seasoned citizens as I am!) Is it to point out what they perhaps overlooked, by offering to tidy up a neglected flowerpot smack in the middle of the party?
“You are like a bull in a china shop,” echoes from my memory banks. Often this proverbial damaging dynamo is clothed in a variety of costumes, all wanting to help. But, sometimes, my best intentions, or opinions, aren’t helpful, or timely.
Therefore . . . remember I have a choice that begins with looking to the interests of others without always trying to shape them up into what I think best. This goes for deeds and words.
Asking if what I am about to say is necessary, edifying or encouraging also goes for what I want to do for others, too.
What is necessary to do usually means hard work, time, and trouble – a perfect description of good manners in these coarsening days.
Politeness is like an air-cushion—there may be nothing in it, but it wonderfully eases the joltings along the rough road of life. ~Attributed to H.W. Beecher
You’d better believe, in my next geranium painting I’ll include some brown stems!