Last weekend, I was sitting opposite a young couple on the Docklands Light Railway. They were both in their twenties, attractive. The young man was expensively dressed, the young lady wearing probably a little too much make-up for daytime.
She was clinging on to her companion’s arm, swivelled uncomfortably on her seat so that she can gaze adoringly at his face. She was batting her eyelashes, smiling broadly with her red lipsticked mouth, speaking in a breathless voice at him.
He, on the other hand, was staring impassively straight ahead, his face betraying no emotion. He wasn’t even engaging with her in the remotest, showing not a single flicker of interest in what she was saying.
She intensified her efforts, squirming more in her seat, her chatter becoming faster and more desperate. A look of annoyance crossed the man’s face. She continued fluttering inanely.
I see the same from my forty-plus year-old girl pal, who is attractive, successful, fun to be with. But whenever her object of fancy is around (mutual friend of ours), she behaves in an alien, simpering way. Does he notice? Yes, and he finds it embarrassing. He is never going to succumb to her campaign to get him. ‘I don’t like the advertising,” he says. “I prefer to know the real person.”
Aesop of Greece wrote many fabulous fables which survive to this day, told and retold down the generations to children as bedtime stories and educational tales. “The Tortoise and The Hare”, “The Ant and The Grasshopper” and “The Dog and Its Reflection” are amongst Aesop’s most popular fables.
Here’s one that I would like to tell you, in case you haven’t heard of it yet, that I wish I could tell the two ladies in question. The name of this fable is “The North Wind and The Sun.”
One day, a man was walking down the road wearing a coat. The strong North Wind said to the Sun, “Let’s see which one of us can get him to take off his coat.”
“Okay,” said the Sun.
The North Wind blew with all his might, hoping that his strength would wrench the coat from the man. The man’s hat blew off but he held on to his coat tightly. North Wind blew even harder, tugging with all its might at the man’s coat. The man could hardly take a step forward, so strong was the force of the wind. The man held on to his coat with all his strength, and finally, North Wind had to give up.
“Well, if I have failed, surely there is no hope for you,” North Wind told the Sun.
“We shall see,” the Sun said quietly. It didn’t do anything outward at all. It just focused all its energy to its core. It shone brighter. Its rays got warmer. Still the Sun did nothing but concentrate on itself. Soon, its radiant energy filled even the man. He began to feel warm.
And he took his coat off. The Sun had won.
We hardly ever win when we allow the North Wind in us to act instead of the Sun, be it in love, job, or even house-buying. My girl pal would have gotten her man (more likely) if she had just allowed him to get to know here naturally, instead of trying too hard to sell herself.
I too have allowed the North Wind in me to get the better of my Sun several times in my life.
For example, a year ago, when it dawned upon me that my last child was indeed leaving home imminently and I would therefore be redundant as a stay-at-home mother, I hurled myself into a job-hunting frenzy, merely to justify my existence rather than out of any genuine desire to work. As a consequence, I chased the wrong jobs and put myself under so much stress. I tried too hard and it didn’t get me anywhere.
My wonderful, ever-supportive partner told me to take a year off to find myself. “Just travel, Jac, or stay at home. Do what you need to do, don’t worry about anything.”
I began to relax at the possibility of not doing anything for another year. Then a chance conversation with someone led me to the job I now have. I was nervous, I was anxious, I was doubtful, I didn’t think I would get it, but the interview went smoothly and better than I can ever hoped for. I was truthful, I did not try to impress, I told my interviewers I needed a lot of support when I start work. I was honest that I have been out of the city for over a decade and I am 50. I focused on doing the assessments I was set at the interview to my best ability (it was a shock looking at balance sheet again!) without any expectations of getting the job. I began to enjoy the intellectual challenge and the interview. I knew it was the right job for me, so I just had to be myself instead of trying to impress.
Right now, I am trying to stop my North Wind blowing in my house-hunting. I should just relax and let my Sun shine. The right house will come f I just focus on my Sun….the things and people that are right for me had always come when I stop chasing.
So dear friends, tame your North Wind and trust your Sun ❤