Be The Wind And Not The Boat!

It is five years ago that I wrote the following post. I think, reminding ourselves that it is in our own hands to direct our destiny fits well for the first Monday post of this new year. 

Lately, I had a discussion with my youngest son about receiving respect and being taken seriously by others regarding the constant competition between him and his older brother. For a teenager, there is a lot to cope with, for example, the changes that happen to your body, and at the same time to your developing confused mind. Then there is the pressure of school and the decisions about what to do after (another school, apprenticeship,…) which goes along with the challenge of getting an apprenticeship place. A lot to deal with that life brings naturally.

And then there is the homemade pressure like the competition under each other (siblings, friends): who is the coolest or the smartest? This again can result in mutual offendings. At one point, it was one offense too much, and the one who cannot bear it anymore freaks out or is deeply hurt. On the outside, they appear cool and sublime, while it is very painful for them, and they still try to stand tall and top their counterpart… until that last straw breaks the camel’s back. Crazy how we torture ourselves!

It is definitely not a particular teenager problem. Don’t we all want to be respected for who we are? Don’t we all want to be taken seriously without fighting for it? Often it seems impossible when we have to deal with people in our families or at work who don’t care about that need but only enjoy being on top of everyone and making others feel smaller just because they can! I even dare to say that they mostly don’t do it on purpose. It happens reflexively. When others try to get more respect by joining the game, the dominant person feels, even more, provoked to keep up their behavior.

If we want respect, we need to play our own game. Every action causes a reaction. When we are not happy with our counterpart’s reaction, maybe we need to change our own actions and reactions. I said to my son: “If you want to stop your brother from telling you how dumb you are, then stop telling him in return how dumb he is, or he will keep up proving that you are dumber! And you know, rhetoric and finding arguments are his strength. So you won’t win that battle. Instead, make him a compliment and see what happens next. There is nothing he will say against it, AND why should he say something mean to you since you said something honestly nice to him? That way, you take the wind out of his sails.”

If you want to be respected, then respect others. If you want others to take you seriously, then take others seriously. It may take a little, but it has an effect from the first moment on. When we keep up our changed attitude and react differently or don’t react at all, a change will happen. The funny thing is that the other one might not even notice that change. If people are bothering us over and over again, it doesn’t make sense to act like they do and at the same time hope that they will stop their behavior. Either we tell them, and/or we work the switches in sending out different signals.

In the end, who is the winner?
The one who adjusts the sails or the one who blows into them?

In Love and Light

About the Author

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The purpose of my blog is to inspire and shine a light on the beauty and power of the wonderful being inside your body. You came into this world to share what only you can give. Remember who you really are, conquer the world the way you always wanted to, and become the blessing to us all that you were meant to be.


Sometimes we simply don’t have the energy to go blow into the sails and it can be relaxing to be blown somewhere for the moment. But in the long run, we might get lost. Thank you very much, Michael.

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Too many people are complaining that life always pushes them in a different direction. But most of them have never even tried to walk against the wind or even be the wind. However, life will show them sooner or later, and hopefully, the majority will get it early enough without too many regrets. Thank you, Jill 💖

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This is so very true! You don’t know until you try, if you can make a difference, create a change. I particularly like your analogy of walking against the wind. It seems far too many are willing to go along … to listen to the conspiracy theories, the religious ‘leaders’, and the dishonest politicians. Thank YOU, dear Erika! ❤

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It can take your breath when you walk agains the wind but at least you move forward and will pass it once.
I am totally with you when it comes to joing the crowd or the loudest voices, regardless of what they say.
Much love, dear Jill 💖

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I’ll join Sue with a sailing story too. My dad built a moth, a small sailing boat, took it out to the local lake and got in. It went too far into the water with his weight so two of us kids were thrown in and told to sail. We didn’t have a clue, and in hindsight very dangerous. He said just pull the rope in and the wind will catch the sail and you’ll start moving. I did…and it took off like a rocket, and like Sue, I had to turn the thing after a while so I swung the tiller and nearly killed my brother and myself as the boom swung back hard and cracked us both across the head. But…did I learn so much in that one trip…the wind can be a friend or an enemy, your dad may love you but his dream to sail can reshape your skull…and after all was said and done, it is all an adventure even if your boat leans too far over and starts taking in water, you just adjust your sails. Great post dear lady, may your sailing through life adjust to your heart 😂🤣❤️🙏🏽

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After both of your stories, I think I already learned the lesson… never go sailing unless you know how to! And: catch the wind at the right time.
But seriously, it is a fantastic analogy you both shared here. And there is not one but already a few messages and lessons that go along with it. You both were really lucky and your father must have had limitless faith in you and God.
I love your last sentence. Yes, may we adjust our sails to our heart’s vibes.
Thank you, Mark 💖

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Excellent reminders Erika… And your words resonate deeply now as then. We lack a lot of respect for others and I have found in the main many do not even respect themselves, which in turn is allowing others to disrespect them.
I smiled at your terminology of Adjusting the Sails..
It reminded me of when I was 14 and our school had asked a selection of us girls ( All girls school back in the day ) to learn Sailing at the local reservoir I had only been out on the small sail boats twice yet the instructor thought me capable of giving instructions and holding the tiler . Hummmm
Well all went well as I sailed into the wind until the reservoir was speedily running out of my straight line.. LOL So I gave the orders to the other two girls holding ropes on sails, as we Jived and did a turn… But the girls were not fast enough, sails flapped we leaned over too hard and we completely capsized the boat with Rudder aloft and sail below… One girl then went into screaming hysterics as the rescue boat pulled her on board, while the other girl and I struggled to right the boat upright… We were towed holding ropes behind our towed boat. I learnt a big lesson too that day.. I should have spoken up and said I didn’t feel confident enough to go solo sailing… Pride and the Praise I wasn’t used to getting from the instructor got in the way.

I had come about too hard and the girls were not ready in the high wind to pull in the sails and lean out to balance the boat..
There is a lot to be said about Teamwork,
We all of us need to adjust our sails or capsize in the process… Are we not told Pride comes before a fall?
Many thanks for sharing again Erika… Have a wonderful New blogging Year my friend ❤

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Oh, wow, what an educational example in so many ways. You must have been scared next to a probably embarrassed feeling — definitely a tough lesson. I am glad you all made it out well. However, thank you very much for sharing.
Actually, there is nothing wrong with adjusting the sails which we need to do when life blows into our faces but if you have the possibility to blow into the sails yourself… the boat rather goes where we want it to arrive.
Thank you very much, Sue 💖

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I am glad, it inspired you to share the story. Wow, I actually thought you were rather courageous. And what child wants to say: No, I don’t dare to. So, yes, it was courageous, however it turned out 😉

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A memory that has not been forgotten all these years for sure Lol… I was more concerned trying to calm the Hysterical girl who thought she was being sucked under the hull of the boat.. despite her life jacket and her head way above the water line Lol…. She never came to the next sailing lessons lol 🙂

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Thank you, Colin. I would say, that quote says it all. If everyone behaved according to this, we would have a peaceful world that everyone would be respectful of.


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