The Daisy Petal Deception

Daisy petalsEven though people tell me I have a very good memory, I’m not so sure. For every story or incident I remember, I am constantly reminded of all those times about which I have no recollection. And I have no clue who taught me that plucking petals off a daisy is a reliable method of determining whether someone cares about me.

Pluck a petal – he loves me. Pluck another petal – he loves me not. Pluck another – he loves me. And the last petal will supposedly reveal the true nature of his feelings.

A rational person would recognize that the practice is not only ridiculous but that it also promotes the deliberate torture of innocent daisies. Apparently, I haven’t always been particularly rational.

I’m ashamed to admit that, thanks to a long-forgotten tutor, I’ve tortured a lot of daisies in my life.

Most were destroyed in the name of boys and men who never even knew that I cared. (I can only credit myself for the self-taught skill of acting disinterested when I was actually quite interested.) I even began plucking daisy petals for answers to questions that had nothing to do with relationships.

Pluck a petal – I will get what I want. Pluck another petal – I will be disappointed. Pluck a petal – I will get what I want.

Every time I got the answer I wanted, my appreciation for the practice grew. Not because the answer proved to be valid, but because it was an easy way to avoid the ambiguities of life and love.

Unfortunately, a lot of people like avoiding ambiguities. They like simplicity. They crave only two choices, so they can make a quick decision rather than think about alternatives and possibilities:

– They want one religion to be right and any other to be wrong.

– They want one political party to have all the answers and the other to only represent miscreants.

– They want people with a good-paying jobs to represent moral superiority and poverty to represent laziness.

Pluck a petal – you’re good. Pluck a petal – you’re bad.

The problem with plucking daisy petals is there is never a need for a real solution and there’s no call for action. If you don’t get the answer you want, you pick another daisy and try again. Either that, or you accept the answer but sulk and complain.daisy

Sulking and complaining has never made anyone happy. Changing circumstances does, but that usually requires compromise and working with others. It requires putting down the daisies in our own hands, so we can join  hands with others.

When we do that, the options grow, and opportunities really start to blossom.

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About Trina Bartlett

I live in the Eastern Panhandle of WV, with one dog, two cats, a daughter in high school, a son starting his latest adventures at West Virginia University and a husband who works strange hours. When I'm not working as a director at a nonprofit social service organization or being a mom, I can generally be found riding my bike, walking my dog and stirring things up.

Posted on March 2, 2013, in My life, perspective and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. I will send a bouquet of daisies, and this post, to my representatives in Washington! Well said, Trina, as always!

  2. Betty Russell

    Love the comparison to the daisy petals – we have all done that in our lives. Awesome!!!!

  3. A simple analogy for a complex issue. I love your insights. Great post!

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