The Analogy of the Chinese Bamboo Tree in Action

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SilentDawning
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Joined: 09 May 2010, 19:55

The Analogy of the Chinese Bamboo Tree in Action

Post by SilentDawning » 05 Dec 2020, 19:58

One of the advantages of StayLDS is that so far, many of you are able to be with me and others through various phases of life. Such is the benefit of the ongoing commitment of the moderators to the longevity of this site.

I want to share the analogy of the Chinese Bamboo Tree that Stephen R. Covey described in his book "First Things First". He talks about how a bamboo tree shows nothing but little shoots of bamboo above the ground for 7 years. Then in Year 8 it shoots up 80 feet. For the seven years, it looks like the tree isn't growing, when really, it is building a really large root structure to support the above-ground, visible tree later.

Furthering this analogy, many of you have been with me since my children were less than 10 years of age. This is during the root structure phase.

My daughter is now 22 years of age, and you have seen the following root structure phases and even helped me cope with them.

1. The Dad as Hero stage (no help needed there).
2. The Dad as a regular pain in the arse phase (much help needed and given!)
3. The Dad as someone who make you so mad you stomp out of the room in anger phase.
4. The Dad whose ideas you routinely reject phase

And now, I am about to describe the visible above-ground growth stage:

5. The Dad as someone you appreciate.
6.And now, the Dad as someone who really influenced your life stage.

My daughter, who caused me a lot of angst in phases 2 and 3, and showed no change or influence from my personal involvement in her life, is now showing the fruits of the good aspects of my character and influence as she grew up in Steps 5 and 6.

1. She recently saw a mental health person to assist her in getting medication for anxiety. While some may see this as bad, it is actually quite good. Due to my influence, she caught it early in her life and I notice a significant change in her personality and overall happiness as a result. I spent most of my life until about a year ago struggling with obsessive thoughts, unhappiness, anxiety, worry and occasionally depression. This has since changed with the advent of medication.

2. The other day I played a song (chords only) on the phone to her on a baritone ukelele. She started singing along with it. I asked her how she knew that song -- she replied "You taught it to me when I was a teenager". Where formerly she rejected jazz, she now listens to a limited playlist on her phone of jazz songs, many that I taught her when she was a teenager and she later rejected, but now has accepted. She now seems to have embraced them again. The fact that she actually sang along with the song showed me that it did have an effect on her tastes and personality.

3. She calls me for advice.

4. She is married in the temple and active and happy in the church.

So, what was once an apparently rocky relationship with very little to show for my influence, I am starting to see the bamboo tree shoot up 80 feet.

I wanted to thank the people who have helped me navigate being a father in the church here as I grappled with her as a child and teenager. It has been a lifesaver to be able to come here and share my challenges and thoughts as a father in her gospel progression. And it's personally rewarding for me to see that she is accepting many things that I once exposed her to as a child, which she apparently rejected, but seems to be accepting now.

Thank you!
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

A man asked Jesus "do all roads lead to you?" Jesus responds,”most roads don’t lead anywhere, but I will travel any road to find you.” Adapted from The Shack, William Young

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SamBee
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Re: The Analogy of the Chinese Bamboo Tree in Action

Post by SamBee » 07 Dec 2020, 07:07

One little thing sets others in motion. To give a more human example, a guy I know went to a party and met his wife there. He nearly didn't go. What ended up happening is that she ended up staying in this country, they had children and she joined the church. She was kind to me when I came back and she is one of the reasons I stay, even though she has passed on.

It doesn't stop there though. She started up an organization which worked with prostitutes in this city, helped them get off drugs, get other work, get an education and housing etc. She got many women off the street who had horrible lives and couldn't get away from their pasts. I believe she would go out and meet and talk with many of them personally rather than just seeing them as statistics. She probably saved their lives from heroin and other things. I have no doubt that she helped heal some people's lives, and there are families from these women. This woman didn't talk about this in church or praise herself, but it is one of those things where there is a ripple effect that is probably still going on.
DASH1730 "An Area Authority...[was] asked...who...would go to the Telestial kingdom. His answer: "murderers, adulterers and a lot of surprised Mormons!"'
1ST PRES 1978 "[LDS] believe...there is truth in many religions and philosophies...good and great religious leaders... have raised the spiritual, moral, and ethical awareness of their people. When we speak of The [LDS] as the only true church...it is...authorized to administer the ordinances...by Jesus Christ... we do not mean... it is the only teacher of truth."

Roy
Posts: 6217
Joined: 07 Oct 2010, 14:16
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: The Analogy of the Chinese Bamboo Tree in Action

Post by Roy » 07 Dec 2020, 15:27

I am several years behind you SD. my own DD is almost 15 and has started to exhibit teenager behavior. There are definitely times when I think that I need to "pick my battles", or focus on reinforcing the positive, or even that she will move out in a few years and then she can slam doors, stomp down stairs, be wasteful with electricity, natural gas, and water in her own home.

At the same time, I believe that she is a good kid with many admirable qualities.

My biggest wish is for my children to eventually leave the nest as happy, productive, well-adjusted, and contributing members of society.
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

Minyan Man
Posts: 1999
Joined: 15 Sep 2011, 13:40

Re: The Analogy of the Chinese Bamboo Tree in Action

Post by Minyan Man » 07 Dec 2020, 20:43

I like the analogy of the Chinese Bamboo Tree. I haven't heard that story before.

AmyJ
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Joined: 27 Jul 2017, 05:50

Re: The Analogy of the Chinese Bamboo Tree in Action

Post by AmyJ » 08 Dec 2020, 06:02

Not quite as expansive as your example, SD, but I think about my daughter while reading this.

My ASD/ADHD daughter struggles with identifying emotion, dealing with emotion, and the motivation to connect with people (why bother with so much emotion) ...

This makes it interesting because she will act irrationally (but perfectly rational from her point of view) in ways that are atypical to her 10 and 11 year old peers. I have spent years trying to work with her, to connect with her, and create social bridges to her for others. It was an uphill struggle at best.

This year has been blessedly different. We have a combination of personal/family counseling, a professional who visits our home several times a week to work with her in her areas of weakness, a shift in environment to virtual learning taking some of the social pressure off of the school situation, and developmental growth. She apologizes now when she is disrespectful. She asks questions - the basic questions that you use to connect to people. She is willing to entertain other points of view.

It's not perfect - she has 2 support stuffed animals that go pretty much everywhere with her and she treats as her/our babies. We are going to lose this progress probably in a few months when her brain physically develops again and kicks all emotional functioning back to the brain stem.

But I am grateful for where we are.

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Gerald
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Re: The Analogy of the Chinese Bamboo Tree in Action

Post by Gerald » 08 Dec 2020, 06:12

I can definitely relate. My oldest daughter had learning difficulties in school and problems relating to people socially. This followed her throughout her life and, as she reached her twenties, still struggling with these things, I mentally prepared myself for the possibility that she would live with us for the rest of her life. But then she met a nice young man who wasn't too bothered by these things and she is now married with two children. I would never have believed that would happen ten years ago. She still struggles of course. She and her husband clash at times, due in part to some of her limitations. Her oldest boy has indications of the same problems. But her life is much richer than I thought it would be. I don't know how much of that I can attribute to myself and her mother but I'm grateful that, whatever the influence, that she exceeded my expectations.
So through the dusk of dead, blank-legended And unremunerative years we search to get where life begins, and still we groan because we do not find the living spark where no spark ever was; and thus we die, still searching, like poor old astronomers who totter off to bed and go to sleep, to dream of untriangulated stars.
---Edwin Arlington Robinson---

Roy
Posts: 6217
Joined: 07 Oct 2010, 14:16
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: The Analogy of the Chinese Bamboo Tree in Action

Post by Roy » 08 Dec 2020, 10:40

Gerald wrote:
08 Dec 2020, 06:12
her life is much richer than I thought it would be. I don't know how much of that I can attribute to myself and her mother but I'm grateful that, whatever the influence, that she exceeded my expectations.
That is wonderful to hear Gerald. We worry so much for our children. It is nice to have examples of "the kids are alright."
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

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