January 28


Today's quotation:

You can count the seeds in the apple, but not the apples in the seed.

Ken Kersey

Today's Meditation:

Sometimes the most remarkable thoughts are expressed in very few words, and sometimes they're so insightful and simple at the same time that it's almost scary.  What Kersey's quotation about apples and seeds says to us about perspective is absolutely beautiful in its simple truth:  there's no way of knowing the extent of the potential in anything, really, and something like an apple seed can give us years and years of bountiful harvests, with uncounted apples.

People are the same way, of course.  There's no telling what's inside each person that we meet, no telling the potential that each person has for growth and for doing exceptional things.  Just like the apple seed, though, our potential is realized by creating just the right conditions for our growth and development.  Just as the apple cannot thrive in dry, barren climes, so is it difficult for us to thrive in situations that are not fitting.

There are two big differences between us and apples, though.  First of all, apple seeds all need similar conditions in which to grow--similar amounts of rain and sunlight and acid in the soil.  We don't, and many of our problems come from people trying to create the same growing conditions for all people--it just doesn't work that way.  What works for you probably wouldn't work for me, and what works for me wouldn't work for many other people.  We all hear of the success stories of people who grew up in "poor" conditions yet thrived--perhaps those awful conditions were exactly what that person needed to succeed, just as a cactus can grow to great heights in the desert.

Second, if our situation isn't helpful or healthy for us, we can always leave.  We can change jobs or move to a warmer clime or even leave destructive relationships.  The apple can't do so--if it's in a poor growing situation, it will do poorly forever, without the opportunity to move itself to a more fitting environment.  So even though our potential is similar to that of an apple seed--incredibly rich--we have many distinct advantages that can help us to put a whole lot of good into the world.

Questions to consider:

How much potential do you have?  Have you put yourself in situations in which you're able to develop your abilities and use that potential?

What can you do today to take one more step towards reaching your potential?

Do you help other people reach their potential by providing encouragement?  How can we contribute to a healthy growing environment for other people?

For further thought:

Merely looking at the world around us is immensely different from seeing it.

Frederick Frank

more thoughts and ideas on perspective



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