Are you a whale or a petunia?
(If you know the original artist of this, after hugging them for this wonderful piece – let me know who they are.)
Sometimes we all have to do something we don’t want to do. It’s a simple fact of life. Having to be responsible is a good step for both young and old alike. It’s something that can’t really be taught, sure some can fake it well and others are naturally in tune with what needs doing. Most of us fall somewhere in the middle of that spectrum.
This is, simply how societies work. Regardless of your feelings on how things are going, it’s good to know that you’re doing what you can to keep your personal bubble from popping.
More often though, it’s like the whales and the petunias in the picture above.
The whales, full of optimism and hope, excited by each and every new opportunity while working through it all while blissfully working through it all with excitement and giddy anticipation.
While the petunias grimly and angrily accept it all and go about it with annoyance and barely hidden disdain.
The reference, before you think I’m far nuttier than I am.
From the whales perspective:
Calm down, get a grip now … oh! this is an interesting sensation, what is it? It’s a sort of … yawning, tingling sensation in my … my … well I suppose I’d better start finding names for things if I want to make any headway in what for the sake of what I shall call an argument I shall call the world, so let’s call it my stomach.
Good. Ooooh, it’s getting quite strong. And hey, what’s about this whistling roaring sound going past what I’m suddenly going to call my head? Perhaps I can call that … wind! Is that a good name? It’ll do … perhaps I can find a better name for it later when I’ve found out what it’s for. It must be something very important because there certainly seems to be a hell of a lot of it. Hey! What’s this thing? This … let’s call it a tail – yeah, tail. Hey! I can can really thrash it about pretty good can’t I? Wow! Wow! That feels great! Doesn’t seem to achieve very much but I’ll probably find out what it’s for later on. Now – have I built up any coherent picture of things yet?
Never mind, hey, this is really exciting, so much to find out about, so much to look forward to, I’m quite dizzy with anticipation …
Curiously enough, the only thing that went through the mind of the bowl of petunias as it fell was Oh no, not again. Many people have speculated that if we knew exactly why the bowl of petunias had thought that we would know a lot more about the nature of the universe than we do now.
For the lazy, here’s the scene from the movie:
Both quotes are from Douglas Adams’s brilliant Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series (which, if you haven’t read – stop here. Go, do that – it’s FAR more important than any silly words written here).
While the original scene doesn’t really have much relevance to this post, nor the idea of social responsibility, it’s still a damn good part of a damn good(er) book, and a good out of context quote to use (in a surprising amount of situations). The excited whale sees his present situation as an exciting adventure (ignore the outcome for now) full of opportunity and hope.
The petunias, the old hat at this, is negative. There’s no hope for anything new, or different. It’s all something that’s been done before.
There are a lot of those among us who will always be the petunia. But, I think there’s something for being the whale. Holding on to the giddy anticipation of everything new and old, and forging your own path all the while.It’s
It’s even a bit exhilarating!
I mean either way, we’re all squished against the Earth at the end, so we may as well all enjoy the ride.