Four Seasons of a Tree
Don't judge a life by one difficult season.
There was a man who had four sons. He wanted his sons to learn to
not judge things too quickly. So he sent them each on a quest, in
turn, to go and look at a pear tree that was a great distance away.
The first son went in the winter, the second in the spring, the
third in summer, and the youngest son in the fall.
When they had all gone and come back, he called them together to
describe what they had seen.
The first son said that the tree was ugly, bent, and twisted. The
second son said no - it was covered with green buds and full of
The third son disagreed, he said it was laden with blossoms that
smelled so sweet and looked so beautiful, it was the most graceful
thing he had ever seen.
The last son disagreed with all of them; he said it was ripe and
drooping with fruit, full of life and fulfillment.
The man then explained to his sons that they were all right, because
they had each seen but one season in the tree's life.
He told them that you cannot judge a tree, or a person, by only one
season, and that the essence of who they are - and the pleasure,
joy, and love that come from that life - can only be measured at the
end, when all the seasons are up.
If you give up when it's winter, you will miss the promise of your
spring, the beauty of your summer, fulfillment of your fall. Don't
let the pain of one season destroy the joy of all the rest.
[ From Big Al, via 'The Inspired Buffalo' (firstname.lastname@example.org) ]
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