By George Kimando
Another story you may have heard.
This man had four sons. In a lesson on patience and the essence of seasons to the sons, he sent them on a quest, each in turn, to go and take care of his farm of pear trees that was a great distance away. The first son went during winter, the second in spring, the third in summer, and the youngest son in 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 trees were ugly, bent, and twisted. The second son disagreed, saying they were covered with green buds and full of promise.
The third gave a different version, explaining the way the pear trees were laden with blossoms that smelled so sweet and looked so beautiful; it was the most graceful thing he had ever seen.
The last son sought to correct all of them, telling them how the fruits were ripe and the farm full of life and promise.
An argument ensued as the old man cut in, “You are all right”.
They fell silent, keen on his explanation.
“You have seen but only one season in the trees’ life”, he told them, “and you cannot judge a tree by a mere season”. He explained to them about the full cycle of the pear tree seasons.
“And that goes for people too”, he continued, “The essence of who they are and the pleasure, joy, and love that come from that life can only be measured when all the seasons are up.”
If you give up when it’s winter, he advised his sons, you will miss the promise of your spring, the beauty of your summer, and the fulfilment of your fall.
While it’s easier said than done, it’s a real pointer to one of the major causes of loss, disappointment and failure: judgement in one season. People are too quick to judge others, ignoring and dismissing them on their seasonal experience.
While the man in the story above was imparting lessons on patience with the self – don’t let the pain of one season destroy the joy of all the rest; don’t judge life by one difficult season; persevere through the difficult patches and better times are sure to come sometime or later – the lessons on how to treat others in their various seasons are not lost.
People have lost great opportunities – in potential business, relationships, careers, etc – due to haste in judging others and situations in one particular season.
There are numerous living examples we can cite, some even personal. I won’t go into them.
I guess each one of us has had their moments of seasonally judging others, and even applying labels based on such.
Perhaps what best sums up seasonal judgement is something I recently read, that people will seek to know what you do for a living to determine how much respect you deserve and the importance they attach to any future engagements, if any.
We may not always admit to it, but very many of us are like this, however subtle and modest we play it out.
Can we normalize relating with people as humans first?
This week, consciously and intentionally try these two things: do not ask people you meet what they do for a living, and do not ask where they come from (that tribe thing rings a bell, right?). Just indulge them as they are, and let the details come out by themselves, if they have to.
Have a discernment and wisdom wired Sunday, and a great week ahead.