“The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn.”
— Ralph Waldo Emerson
There are seeds you plant in the ground.
Then there are seeds that you plant in the mind.
When we present someone with an idea, it’s like planting a seed in their mind. The seed needs to be planted at the right time and in the right conditions. The mind has to be ready for the seed to germinate and has to then cultivate the idea so that the idea will grow into a thought which can eventually turn into a harvestable action.
The ideas most likely to grow are those sown with the intent to help someone. Ideas planted with honest, humble desire to see someone better off.
Although you can’t watch your idea grow in someone else’s mind, you can use positive encouragement to fertilize it. Over time, you may see a change in their behavior. A change for the better. That’s when the idea has blossomed. Seeing that positive change is your reward. Like harvesting a fruit – it’s a sweet reward for patience and encouragement.
Ironically, some ideas are the most difficult to grow. Ideas like kindness, service, generosity, altruism, and giving time. They take a long time to sprout, even longer to take root, and the longest time to produce fruit.
But those seeds will ultimately produce the sweetest harvest. For everyone.
Yesterday’s gift of time … Watched my daughters’ volleyball practice, and afterwards on the drive home tried planting the seeds of patience into their minds. Minds which were fraught with the weeds of “unfairness”. … Also hosted our monthly Feedbackers Toastmasters club as President. Together, we all planted the seeds of improvement fertilized with positive encouragement.
Eric, I think that one of the most precious concepts to teach and model for our children is what you wrote about here…the generous planting of seeds. I’ve noticed that it can, at times, take years for them to sprout, but sprout they do…
As a parent, I can get frustrated when the seeds I plant don’t germinate. But like a seed that lays dormant for years, I hope that some of the wisdom I’ve garnered over the years will someday sprout in my kids’ minds when the ground is fertile.