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Plum Blossoms

Plum Blossoms

This line is the first of a poem written by Song Dynasty poet Lu You, who uses the metaphor of a plum blossom to laud integrity and authenticity over flattery and favor in a bid for influence and power:

无意苦争春, I have no intention of holding onto Spring, 
一任群芳妒。 I leave jealousy to myriad other flowers.
零落成泥碾作尘, As my blossoms fall and turn to dust,
只有香如故。 Only their fragrance remains unchanged.

Plum blossoms appear often in the final, coldest days of winter, before other flowers bloom. However, they don't stick around, vying for attention or jostling to be the most beautiful in the spring. They fall to the mud, crushed into dust, having done their duty and whose fragrance (or in the case of man, whose legacy) is all that remains for future generations.

I feel this to be especially relevant in a time where influence, especially digital influence, is considered valuable social currency. Having found my beginnings in social media and continuing to rely on it to share messages that have helped me and maybe can help you as well, I think it's useful to recognize whether I am "holding onto Spring" and remind myself to let go at the right time.

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