Normally when somebody tells you to Go Fly a Kite, you know it’s just a nice way of them telling you to get lost, go away or do something else for awhile. Well, recently I did exactly that with my family on our annual spring break vacation to Florida.
As I was putting together a new butterfly kite for my grandson I wondered where that saying originated from and why it seemed to carry such a negative connotation; especially after I got the kite high in the air thanks to the perfect breeze coming off the ocean. It was glorious.
My grandson was eager to hold the handle of the kite as we watched it dance and flutter just like a butterfly. That only lasted about 2 minutes then he wanted to go play in the sand again leaving me holding the kite which I was perfectly happy to do.
It had been many years since I had the pleasure of flying a kite and before I knew it I was getting lost in the simple Joy of doing something else for awhile. I soon realized I wasn’t the only one flying a kite on the beach. There were at least 5 more beautifully colored kites all around me of different shapes and sizes proudly soaring over the white sandy beaches of St. Pete. Not that it was unusual, but it seemed to make even more sense when I learned later that April is National Kite Month.
I didn’t even know there was such a month so it increased my interest and curiosity in kites even more. Turns out they were invented by the Chinese over 2000 years ago and used as early warning devices and later for artistic expression. Centuries later the Wright brothers experimented with kites which contributed to the development of the airplane and of course , everyone knows Ben Franklin used his knowledge of kites to discover electricity in 1752 , which brings us back to that saying. Actually, Google provided a kind definition of “Go fly a kite” to mean: go get a better idea or make a new discovery. A more sinister definition I found suggests telling this to a person means you hope they get electrocuted, as many, did trying to duplicate what Ben Franklin did when he discovered electricity!
Regardless, what I was really interested in as I observed my butterfly kite flying with all the others that day was how free they all seemed to look as I gazed up at them from the beach. Yet none of them could fly on their own. Every kite needs both gravity and resistance which helps create air pressure and lift force. Plus a kite needs stability and balance to continue to fly correctly and it needs to be connected to a string that leads to the person holding the handle so the kite doesn’t fly away or crash when the winds change.
There are a lot of analogies that could be developed from the above description such as raising children, investing for retirement or a putting together a comprehensive insurance program. None should be left on their own as each needs to maintain stability and balance. Each also needs the invisible string of a parent or advisor holding a hand especially when the winds of life change.
We can help you with a couple of those items so you don’t need to worry about them - which will give you more time to enjoy this life… and Go Fly a Kite.
Will Adamczyk is a Certified Financial Planner professional with Ramsburg Insurance & Financial Services. He focuses on Retirement and Income Planning for the Baby Boomer generation. firstname.lastname@example.org