This is more closely aligned to the nature versus nurture argument than I’ve realized previously. I’ve made comparisons in the past to life and gardening. There is a great deal of wisdom to be found in these types of comparisons. Today I’m reflecting on the values and impact of past and present actions.
Specifically, I’m thinking on the role of parenting. I’m seeing first hand how so many things I’ve done with my kids are traced back to planting the right seeds. Constant attention and cultivation down the road bear priceless impact, but what was planted in the beginning is absolutely critical. You simply can’t make a tomato plant bear a different kind of fruit.
I’ve always heard how important and formidable the early years of life are. I’ve always known it was true, but I’m only now starting to realize the depth of this truth. As a parent, the number of days you shake your head and wonder if ANYTHING you are trying to teach is making it anywhere are far more frequent than the rays of light when you can see successful penetration. Your kids are like precious little geodes. They are developing the most beautiful and intricate crystals of their character on the inside, but you will most likely be exposed most often to a tough and ugly outer shell as the parent.
Today I’m thinking on how much influence you really do have on those forming crystals inside. It is just like gardening. The best crop comes from early preparation of the soil and care in planting. Cultivation of the growing plants can overcome a lot of problems, but it can’t make up for what was or wasn’t planted. The upside is that it’s never too late to plant. The growth and ability for full potential of what is planted may diminish with time, but the ability to plant new seeds isn’t lost with age.
Some of the most important seeds I’ve been observing in the past several months include:
- Importance of a strong and good work ethic
- Kindness and compassion
- Personal responsibility
- Desire and determination to excel
There are plenty more seeds that are worthy of mentioning. I think there are core seeds that branch out into other areas, perhaps even become the foundation of several smaller seeds. Equally true is the reality that just planting isn’t enough. Great seeds can be planted and never grow if they receive no care or cultivation. I’ve also been pleasantly surprised in my life to witness seeds that were planted yet remained dormant, suddenly spring to life with great success when the right care was given. Yes, I believe there is a great deal of comparisons to be made between gardening and life. I’m grateful for the seeds I’m witnessing growing with strength in my own children. I hope I’m planting enough of the right ones and cultivating them adequately for full potential to be reached. The harvest is truly the proving point of your greatest satisfaction of disappointment. I pray I fall on the side of satisfaction.