10 August 2011

How a rock pile is similar to our support system

I recently went to the park with my kids.  While at the park, my daughter built a “rock castle”, which is just large pile of rocks.  My assignment, given to me by my three year-old, was to drop rocks on the top of the pile, one at a time. I did. And I noticed something.  Sometimes a rock that I dropped would bounce right off of the top and dribble its way down the pile.  I could drop another rock in that exact same spot and it would land right on top of the pile, supported by the rocks around it.  I could take that rock that bounced, and drop it in one of the other piles created by my daughter, and it would stick.

It was then that I realized that people are the same way as rocks.  We all have unique shapes, bumps and curves in our personality.  When we land in certain situations, say a work environment, our personality may fit right in, or it may not.  We have all had situations where we immediately connect and others where we are stuck in a rut.

Or when it comes to parenting, we could have one child who just seems to roll nicely with the family, and have a second child from the same gene pool, who is rebellious and doesn’t seem to “stick” with the family.
Maybe, you have a support system of friends that you keep falling into that encourages behaviours and actions that you know you shouldn’t be doing.

What do you do if you are not being held up in you rock pile and you keep getting bounced out?  As hard as it sounds, it’s time to develop a new support system, a new group of peers or friends.  This can be done by changing jobs, changing classes, or changing time spent with toxic family relationships.  There is usually someone who can help you in your transition.

However, what do you do if you are part of a support system that is having a tough time accepting someone? Such as that child who isn’t fitting into the family.  There is something harder than changing our support systems and that is changing ourselves.  Rocks can take different shapes and forms, those bumpy edges that may be pushing someone out, can be brushed off and turn into welcoming arms.  It takes time for changes to occur, but they will happen.

We are all rocks, trying to fit into society.  We can make it easier for one another if we become rocks that can hold onto to one another through acceptance, love, and patience.