I was attempting to pedal my way out of a bad mood yesterday as I rode my bike on country roads bordered by fields in various stages of growth. I was rehashing what had gone wrong during my day when I rounded a corner and the smell hit me.
Fresh manure had been spread on a large field, and the stench was overwhelming.
If you think a field of manure stinks when you are behind the wheel of a car, you should try breathing it from the seat of a bicycle. Not only are there no metal or glass barriers to deflect the smell, but bikes are slower than automobiles so the stink lasts longer.
As I was pedaling furiously to get away, I remembered an incident a few years earlier when I had driven that same route with my daughter and her friend.
“The cows are really stinky tonight,” my daughter complained.
“It’s not the cows. It’s manure.”
“That’s the same thing,” the girls told me.
“Not exactly,” I said. “The manure is put there on purpose. The farmers spread it on their fields to make their crops grow.”
The girls’ initial disbelief was replaced by noises of disgust. “Poop makes things grow?” they groaned.
That memory of the girls reaction along with my bad mood got me thinking about situations that initially stink but eventually help us grow.
I have yet to meet anyone whose life is so perfect that they’ve never had to struggle with mistakes, failures and bad decisions nor had to deal with difficult people or circumstances.
There are lots of names for such situations, but I consider them “poop,” although the name is basically irrelevant. How we deal with them isn’t.
How we handle stinky situations affects whether or not we grow and develop into stronger people. If we simply run away and avoid them, growth is limited if non-existent. But if we learn how to better handle ourselves or to adapt, we not only grow – we actually blossom.
In reality, we can’t grow when we aren’t challenged, and most challenges aren’t fun. Many times, they actually stink.
But there’s something incredibly rewarding about overcoming such situations.
I realized this as I finally rode my bike past the smell of manure yesterday and recognized that I was in a much better mood.
Yep, poop definitely makes things grow.