On our campus, one of the older buildings had a wall covered in ivy.  It looked beautiful.  But if you know anything about ivy clinging to brick, it reeks havoc with the mortar and eventually causes problems.  So this week, it was all torn down.

On another part of campus, the walkway to our atrium building was lined with six beautiful pear trees.  They, too, looked beautiful, but had become weak and past their normal life span.  We were afraid they would not make it through the winter, so they were cut down.  It looks very bare where they were and changes the landscape of our campus entranceway.

Everyone, including our landscaper, would agree that things looked better before the recent work was done.  But after spring comes and the area is re-planted, I have no doubt the luster will be restored.

The pruning was short-term sacrifice for long-term gain.  It’s a hard thing to do — as most people just like the gain without sacrifice part — but in the end it is often the best strategy to move forward.  

Remember the lessons of the ivy and the trees the next time you have to give something up in the short term.  If you hold on to the vines and the blossoms, be prepared to pay for tuckpointing and building repair in the end.  

— beth triplett

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