Let it Be
Nursery rhymes have taken over this house thanks to our toddler, and some of them even have me thinking about the depth of their meanings. While this post is not exactly about rhyme analysis, but one particular one does ring a bell- “Little Bo-peep.”
In this rhyme, the girl is advised to not worry about her sheep who’ve gone over a hill out of her sight but rather to simply wait for them to come back, which they surely would as they know their master well. The girl isn’t convinced. She worries herself a whole lot over it and goes through an emotional rollercoaster but at the end finds the fault lies in her own judgment and understanding.
Worrying differs from concern as in the former we invest a lot more emotion, while in the latter we are detached from the situation like a witness to an event. I’m sure the plants in my house would know best what I mean, those poor things! I have a tendency to over-water or in other words- over-worry about them- ever since I killed a plant from lack of water! Now I’ve learnt more or less not to over-water after one plant began to wilt the day after I had decided Niagara Falls belongs in my pot and all the water overflowed from the saucer I had placed under the plant (it was a mess to clean).
Ever since I’ve left that plant alone checking on it once in a while, it’s been growing much better!
The fact is that it’s not just the plants, I’ve over-worried about people too! I remember spending almost two years answering every question, praising every little achievement, bearing-up every tantrum (and I’m not talking about my toddler here :)) and even spending all my resources whether time or money on just one or two individuals who we felt needed all the attention they could get and more. They loved the attention and care too. In the end, it turns out these individuals harbored parasitic tendencies that latch on and thrive and never develop on their own. And so, after two-years, they still hadn’t moved an inch and were rather spoilt- they suffered from being over-watered in a way. Then, as soon as I let them be, they had no choice but to look within and progress. Soon, much like the plant, new buds sprung forth and blossomed in the garden of their lives.
It was only when I let them be that they had to go through some hardship, learn a lesson and two and then come around and progress, much like Little Bo-peep who had to go find her sheep and experience some trauma in the process only to realize the fault was her own and nothing had really happened to the sheep. Sometimes this works for situations and events in our lives too.
Of course this never goes to say that we shouldn’t be caring and loving, but we should do this with a detached concern rather than feeling over-worried or over-responsible.
So in the end we all learn a lesson or two as the rhyme so aptly states, “Leave them alone, and they’ll come home…”
(Also here’s the whole story on this Rhyme on American Literature.)