If, at any point in your life you have considered entering politics, you might want to mull over the thought more seriously.
As a gardener you have more talent than you may realize…and here’s an Army Salute to the gardener.
“Growing up, if I wasn’t playing sports, I was building model airplanes or gardening with my father. Both were captivating exercises, but for different reasons. Building models was a drill in precision and attention to detail. Gardening was a complex …Foreign Policy”
Now, I occassionally build radio controlled aircraft, and I’m pretty talented in mathematics, but they aren’t my passions and I could continue my life just as happily without them. A strict 1 + 1 = 2 would seem rather dull, don’t you think?
One of my passions is gardening though and I guess I just never seriously considered that a military person would compare the Army to our “army.” I have to confess I spent almost 15 years in the military before I realized the old adage of “our is not to reason why, but to do or die,” mentality was something causing my life to be pretty miserable.
Just in case you haven’t gotten around to reading the article, Major Bruhl thinks that gardeners have…
…an ability to adapt, think creatively, and remain humble enough to try new methods.
As gardeners we do have to adapt to our environment and changing conditons. We think of creative ways to design our plantings, to use water more wisely, to serving our community with our abundance in good years. When something we try doesn’t work, we are humble enough to ask questions to get answers. Most of us love to share what we do know with others, most often we are flattered when asked.
It’s interesting that Major Bruhl believes that there are three areas the Army needs to cultivate in their citizenship of leaders.
To support the development of “gardener-leaders,” the army should do three things: develop a profession of arms that values thinking, writing, and education; adapt its personnel system to support diverse experience; and renew mentorship as a foundation to the profession of arms.
I have to tell you that I wasn’t too pleased with the way the material was presented from the above quote on. The writing went from a personal, “I’m with you approach,” to a more formal, “this is the way it should be” approach. A tad bit more comparision to gardeners along the way certainly would have brought more clarity. So, I’ll attempt to give you my take on how it relates to gardeners.
- Develop a profession of arms that value thinking, writing and education – Because, as I said before, most gardeners are creative, we are always trying new things, reevaluating what works and what doesn’t. We press on with the best solutions we know. Even the most novice of gardeners will write notes. We are all taking continuing education courses by the nature of the craft. Heck, a lot of gardeners know more Latin, chemical compounds and minerals, than they realize!
- Adapt its personnel system to support diverse experience – I think he’s referring to the promotion system; not certain on this though. He feels if a member takes what we probably know as a “leave of absence,” then the time away from their Army specialty should not be counted as when they would have normally met the promotion boards. I vote for a lack of creativity on this one.
- Renew mentorship as a foundation to the profession of arms. As gardeners, we are often found mentoring those wanting to learn some new method or advice on what to do for a particular problem.
These three steps cultivate a culture where leaders are not wedded to “the way we do things,” but are able to adapt, think creatively, and approach challenges with humility.
There is one key point I don’t see the military ever adopting…humility. Every service takes pride in who they are, their traditions and why they hold them close.
But I would like to than Major Bruhl for the sharp salute to garderens and for taking a step outside the box.