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"Who is there that can make muddy water clear? But if allowed to remain still, it will gradually become clear of itself. Who is there that can secure a state of absolute repose? But let time go on, and the state of repose will gradually arise."--Laozi, Tao Te Ching

The hardest thing to do in Beekeeping

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"We have never known what we were doing because we have never known what we were undoing. We cannot know what we are doing until we know what nature would be doing if we were doing nothing"--Wendell Berry "Home Economics"

By far the most difficult thing to do in beekeeping is "nothing". Not just in beekeeping, of course, but in any endeavor. I think the Greeks were wrong when they assumed the primary error in logic was "post hoc ergo propter hoc" (after this because of this). I think that is the secondary error in logic. The one error we humans are most prone to is the need to "do something even if it’s wrong." This flaw in thinking has kept physicians in business for the last several millennia. It is the reason that Hypocrites felt it necessary to point out "first, do no harm." There are many times in life that there is nothing to be done and anything we do will only make things worse.

"There are a few rules of thumb that are useful guides. One is that when you are confronted with some problem in the apiary and you do not know what to do, then do nothing. Matters are seldom made worse by doing nothing and are often made much worse by inept intervention." --The How-To-Do-It book of Beekeeping, Richard Taylor
"The leading cause of problems is solutions."--Sevareid's Law, Eric Sevareid

Fear of Loss

A lot of this "do something even if it’s wrong" view comes from a fear of loss. Often the fear of loss turns us into pessimists. Pessimism is a dangerous way to think. It stifles our success at every turn.

"Pessimism never won any battle."—Dwight D. Eisenhower
"No pessimist ever discovered the secret of the stars, or sailed to an uncharted land, or opened a new doorway for the human spirit."—Helen Keller

The best way to overcome the fear of loss, and therefore the fear of doing nothing, is to change your attitude.

"Better keep yourself clean and bright; you are the window through which you must see the world."—George Bernard Shaw

Michael Bush

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Copyright 2015 by Michael Bush

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