Cultivating Compassion: The Rose

This Internet site exists only because
I care enough about people to make an effort
to reason with those who will not give me
the time of day.

There has to have been, arguably,
no other time in history
when human beings, collectively, have been

( not merely so wilfully lacking in intellect
and selfishly oblivious to basic civility, but )

so defiantly Proud of their Ignorance and Vanity,

that they spew insult and obscenities
at those who would attempt to correct their error,
or remind them of common good manners.

The “boy who driveth the plough”
of William Tyndale’s day [ c.1523 ]
had the capacity to read a New Testament in English;

but masses of barely literate ‘adults’ today
cannot differentiate ‘there’, ‘their’, and ‘they’re’
– a disgusting fact of which the Internet
provides abundant proof.

Rather than be ashamed at the fact,
and grateful to those who would teach them;
vicious, arrogant creatures spew invective
at the … “Grammar Nazi’s” …
who would dare to help them to learn.

The greatest shock – and only “benefit” (?) –
of the Internet, for me, has been to reveal
not merely the depravity of the modern
human race in general,
but the selfishness of people on the whole.

Multitudes who cannot even spell properly,
and are without even the sense of responsibility
– the integrity – to ‘check their work’,

have the audacity to dispense “advice”
on the Internet,

to those who are without the capacity to think
– to discern – that something is manifestly wrong
with their “teacher”.

Ignorance, Error, and Apathy abound:
and no one cares.

The very nature of Gardening requires
conscientious thought, instils attention to detail
… and teaches patience.

It obliges the gardener
to pause long enough … To Think.

And in an Age that is absolutely Characterised
by wholesale Ignorance
and the blind pursuit of constant entertainment
by multitudes whose crude conduct
and vulgar conversation reveals them to have
a level of character that is lower than animals,

the ability to Think is something
that is desperately needed.

The human race into which I was born
has long since been replaced.

Where I have spent my life being grateful
to those who have corrected my error,
this is an age in which
anything more challenging than

“You’re perfect, just the way you are”

is regarded as an “insult”.

It interferes, I suppose,
with the Luciferian religion of “Self Esteem”

the arrogant veneration of … “Me”.

I believe that the GARDEN is a wonderful way
to cultivate Compassion, Tenderness,
the Humility to learn, and a sense of
what-was-once-known-as Personal Responsibility.

Roses are a wonderful way
to develop an interest in gardening.

The consistent appeal throughout this Internet site
has been that, for any conscientious person
to break this perverse obsession in modern humanity
of needing to spend every waking opportunity either

staring into the electronic screen
of some technological toy;

or seeking attention
through some form of vanity possession,

he or she must either exercise the mind
through the reading of quality books,

or exercise mind, body, and senses
by appreciating and caring for the natural world
– most especially, animals that suffer the Neglect,
Brutality, and Apathy of human beings.

Gardening, I have endeavoured to suggest,
will cultivate empathy, care,
and halt the modern propensity
to exist like a machine.

( It will also, of course, provide a peaceful setting
in which to sit and enjoy that quality book. )

Whether you live in a British Country Cottage;
or Tokyo Flat; or Modern Urban Townhouse –

Roses

will transform any balcony, patio, or garden
into a visually beautiful, fragrantly scented
setting that will

calm the nerves,
arouse an empathetic mind, and
foster an outside interest that will counter
both laziness, and the modern fixation
of being connected to a machine.

In a garden bed or suitable container,
all that the rose requires is friable, nutrient-laden soil,
at least four hours of sunshine,

and a gallon (about a 4-litre milk jug) of water
applied to the base of the rose every 3 days
(a necessity that is usually supplied by rainfall
from late autumn to early springtime).

Newly-planted roses will need water
every other day – a great way
to develop the habit of responsible care.

“How can I love anyone if I don’t love myself?”
has been the perverse mantra
of self esteem humanism
that has been trumpeted throughout the nations
since about 1990:

The answer is simple:

Remove that obscene “Me First” mindset.

Making a genuine physical and mental effort
will instil Compassion, Self-LESS-ness,
and Responsibility –

qualities which were not only instilled,
but expected – demanded – in us as children
in the 1960’s.

It will cultivate the HABIT of thinking
Less of ME … and More of Others.

Whatever effort you put in,
the garden will abundantly return.

A garden requires constant care and attention.
A Gardener is one who delivers that care and attention.

With Enthusiasm.

There is a world of difference between the words

“Survive” … and … “Thrive”.

Many a dog understands the directions
of an Inconsistent, Impatient, or highly Undeserving Owner;

but that is testimony to the intelligence of the dog
– Not the “training” from the owner.

Many a garden exists
due to the tenacity of plants to survive,
rather than to the attention afforded it
by an unworthy owner.

Gardening is ‘easy’ … IF … you have the right mindset.

Provide a good home for plants
and they will thrive and give you a wonderful display
of colour and scent.

Have the resolve to provide Sunshine,
gentle Watering, and healthy Soil;
and place them where they are not
‘bullied’ by neighbouring plants (3 feet of separation is fine)
or harsh weather … and you can grow roses.

And if that gets you away from further
deteriorating your own mind and conscience,
in front of a television or computer screen;

and acquaints you, instead,
with patience, diligence;
attention to detail, and responsibility,

your efforts in that garden
will have profoundly affected your life.

When I was growing up in the 1960’s and 70’s
people used to appreciate things;
used to care for things;
used to make the time to mend things.

Now, with this new version of “humanity”
people voice their disgust and impatience
at the slightest thing that does not go according to their lofty
and (more often than not) ignorant expectations.

Marriages, “friends”, the family dog
are of no more value to multitudes,
than a toy whose novelty has worn off.

“I cannot be bothered with it: throw it away.”

“What you said pricked my conscience –
it made me feel guilty.
I am having nothing to do with you ever again.”

Live your life with values higher than
what is popular with the modern masses
and you will – I assure you – experience
just how quickly “friends” will leave you alone.

This same disposable mindset is seen in a phrase
that has been bandied about since
a switch was thrown on humanity in the 1990’s –

“low maintenance garden”,

a term that means ‘I want the benefit of a garden,
but am too lazy to care for the plants that I want to enjoy.’

As a working gardener, I have never accepted any job
whose description includes the phrase
“low maintenance”, “barbeque” or “party”.
having neither interest or patience for those who treat the garden
as a backdrop to getting drunk and making noise.

Quite frankly, if you do not appreciate the plants,
you do not deserve to have them.

The garden is a collection of living things
that provide great beauty deserving of appreciation
by those who have more substance to their lives
than the vacuous hedonism of multitudes.

Caring for plants ( that offer no tangible love in return )
will make it a simple matter to extend compassion
and care to animals – as well as kind and deserving people.

The more you do, the more pleasurable
– and natural – kindness becomes.

Whether in a large garden, or diminutive balcony,
ROSES offer so much more than visual beauty
and fragrant aroma …

they can stimulate qualities in your life
that are so tragically lacking in the world today.

Care for a garden. Care for a rose.

And set a moral example to all who see you.

P Livingstone

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