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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Learning and Relearning

Pin It Topic: Describe a lesson that you have found yourself learning, over and over again, throughout your life.

There's a book that I love by Bill Peet. It's the story of a bear who enjoys rock tumbling. He rolls huge boulders down hillsides simply because he loves to watch them smash trees and destroy the undergrowth. As the rest of the forest creatures scurry pel-mel out of the way, Bruce laughs and laughs. To him, this is the greatest form of entertainment.

One day, Bruce sets a rock tumbling and nearly smashes a little witch who was out picking blueberries. When she confronts Bruce, he simply laughs at her. The witch warns him to be on the lookout, but Bruce ignores her and goes on his merry way.

The witch returns to her cottage where she creates a potion. She adds this potion to the contents of pie, which leaves in a place in the forest where Bruce is sure to find it. Upon discovering this pie, Bruce eats it and soon falls asleep. That is when the magic of the spell begins its work. When Bruce awakens some hours later, he is only a shadow of the bear he used to be. For you see, the spell had caused him to shrink down the size of a chipmunk.

Upon recognizing him, the other forest creatures begin to chase him, determined to let him know how it felt being held prey to the mercy of his rock tumbling. Bruce escapes, but soon realizes that the world is a big, unfriendly place.

Soon after nightfall, Roxy the witch finds Bruce and takes him home with her. Bruce is convinced that she's going to do something even worse to him - perhaps make him disappear altogether. Bruce is wrong and discovers that Roxy is a kind old woman. Soon, Bruce comes to like his new situation of being little, because little bears have short memories, and he has forgotten all about being the giant he once was.

The thing is, as the story ends, the author shows Bruce in Roxy's flower garden, tumbling pebbles to scare the ants, grasshoppers, and caterpillars. Because Bruce, from a bug-eyed view, is still a hairy and horrible brute of a beast.

When I think about my life lessons learned, as well as those things that I keep having to relearn throughout the years, I am often reminded of moments of sadness, being down, or simple depression.

These are feelings that we can all relate to, and have experienced at numerous times in our lives. However, I find it strange that I always seem to go about combating these negative feelings in the same way, though it’s been proven to me time and time again that they don’t work.

You see, when I start to feel down, I immediately find myself turning to the fridge, television, or lazing about and letting the feelings surmount. It’s interesting though that these ‘cures’ seldom—if ever—have the effect that I want; what they do is make me feel even worse because weight gain, apathy, or a feeling of non-accomplishment that always settles in, making the problems seem even worse than they were on their own.

And still, I am immediately drawn to these remedies though they have been proven time and time again not to be at all effective.

So, what does help when depression settles in? What is it that makes things often feel so much better? Most of the time it’s when I get up and exercise, it causes my mood to change toward being positive. I feel a sense of accomplishment, and my own little world seems like such a better place. Something else that helps is when I give service to others who are in need. When I spend my time trying to help those around me, my self-confidence and happiness always tends to skyrocket, and I feel much better. This is probably the reason why I enjoy teaching so much; I am constantly helping somebody else, and this does wonders for my sour or apathetic moods.

I wish I could say that these lessons that I learned happened once and only once. However, that would simply be untruthful. These are the lessons—or lesson—I sadly learn over and over again as the years go onward.

Like the Bruce, the little bear who kept doing the same thing over and over again--even after getting into quite a bit of trouble, I still keep making the same mistakes over and over again as well.

I guess it's true that little bears do have short memories...


Marc said...

Holy impulse buy Batman. I just bought the book.

Rachel said...

You've changed your writer's voice!!!

Not completely. I can still tell it is you.......

I would have to say there is a little bear in all of us! I could empathize with everything you wrote. Stupid fridge.........

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