This week I began a series of blog posts inspired by the plant on my desk. My first post had to do with Being Alive. Today, I want to start addressing the care instructions that came on a card with my plant. The first item listed says this:
Keep me out of the sun!
While some plants need a lot of sunlight to thrive, my plant prefers less sunlight. This is probably a very good thing since I have a limited amount of sunlight that enters my office. This instruction has spoken to me in regards not just to my plant but also in regards to people.
I am the type of person that needs sunlight. Long periods of cloudy days have a very negative impact on my mood and energy. However, being fully exposed to the sunlight for lengthy periods of time are not beneficial to me. Last summer on one of my trips I spent too much time in the sun and got a very intense sunburn. I still see the effects of that sunburn on my skin today. I need sun but must have it in moderation.
Beyond a physical application of this instruction, I think that a much more important application is in regards to a person’s mental well-being. One of the benefits that we receive from the sun is warmth. During these cold months, I greatly value the heat that comes from sunshine and warms my day. In the summer, the heat the sun provides can cause me to complain because it is too much. Some times in life, the stress and the pressures of the day can be compared to too much heat that comes from the sun during the summer. It causes fatigue and has a negative impact on my life.
As a leader, I have come to realize the importance of assisting individuals to stay out of the sun. I need to help reduce the stress and pressure in a person’s life as much as I have the power to do so. I need to take the “heat” off of them. This will allow them to thrive instead of withering from the pressure and stress. This will encourage them to be alive instead of dying under the stress and pressure.
So I need to keep the people in my life out of the sun so they can benefit in life and grow.