Flexibility and expandability are both very valuable traits to have. However, I think their value is dependent upon how we define them and on what aspects of our being we are referring to.
Flexibility is defined as the ability "to bend without breaking". In this sense of the word, I think it is extremely valuable to be flexible - equally in terms of our minds, bodies and spirits. In all three areas we should constantly be able to open or bend. We should be open to new ideas, experiences and ideologies or ways of life. However, we also have to take care not to allow ourselves to break or become damaged. Sometimes we are too open. So open that we are no longer grounded in our ideas, actions or emotions.
Flexibility is also defined as "easily influenced". In this sense of the word, I feel that flexibility is not valuable. Although this conception of flexibility may seem similar to above, notice here the emphasis on "easily". Yes, we should be open to change, but I worry when change comes easily. Any change - meaningful change - should be done thoughtfully, and with a clear understanding of the intention and the result. When a change is made easily (notice here that I am assuming easily to be synonymous with quickly or fleetingly) it is very rarely done with this clarity. This can lead to all sorts of problems. Things can happen that we did not intend to. Or we may not be able or willing to accept the consequences of the change.
Expandability is defined as "to become expanded; spread out, unfold or enlarge". I think it is very valuable that one is open to expand and unfold. Isn't that the goal of the journey of life? To expand our experiences and knowledge as our physical form grows and unfolds into adulthood? Yes, some would argue that. However, I am hesitant to expand or unfold, especially in terms of my emotions and my willingness to support others emotionally, to the point where I am no longer grounded or able to protect myself. Because, of course, the result of unfolding is that what has been unfolded is now open and exposed. Like the typical Pisces that I am, I always try to make myself available to my friends and family. To provide whatever emotional comfort or support they need. But in the same Piscean fashion, I am constantly in need of emotional comfort and support. So, if I am too focused on comforting and supporting others, I leave little-to-no reserves to comfort and support myself. Yoga (yay yogis!) teaches us that we must first ground ourselves in order to be able to expand out to the world around us. Without this initial grounding, we have no energy to spare to hold ourselves up. And if we cannot hold ourselves up, how can we ever expect to lend a helping hand in holding someone else up?
Therefore, I think, that flexibility and expandability are both equally valuable traits to have, as long as we are clear on how we conceive of each and how being either/or affects us.
Now I want to hear what you think! Which is more important to you and why: flexibility or expandability?
Thanks for reading!
Oh, and FYI:
Final Word Count – 524
Final Character Count – 2, 933…with spaces
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