"Do not judge each day by the harvest you reap
but by the seeds that you plant."
Robert Louis Stevenson
I love and need this quote.
I "happened" upon it several years ago, and it changed me.
These words are a breath of fresh air in an often smoggy world that seems obsessed with measuring and comparing and selling more of everything all the time. Things that are supposed to be measured (like an athlete's speed or a company's profit margin) are measured. And things that aren't supposed to be measured (like spiritual growth or a child's success) seem to also be measured in all sorts of stress-filled ways. Things that are supposed to be compared (like apples or automobiles) are compared....and oh, so many things (like physical appearance, how we parent, who goes to the better church and who has the most friends)...things that just aren't supposed to be compared are OVERLY compared. And, to me, there are things that are meant to be sold (like...well...things) and things that just aren't. Like love. Loyalty. Sex (which we all know is sold in thousands of ways that have nothing to do with actual prostitution). Friendship. And yes, I just have to say it. Religion.
I have learned...slowly...to think about my days in terms of seeds planted. I can plant seeds of kindness. I can't control how someone reacts to those seeds, or control what they produce. But I sure can plant them. I can plant seeds of hard work or creativity. I can care for and nurture what and who are around me. But I just can't predict, determine, manage or manipulate exactly what is going to come as a result of what I give of myself.
As an enabler, this is a hard lesson that I am continually learning. I have to fight to internalize this idea. To take responsibility for those seeds, and to let the results/rewards/reactions be what they may. More and more I feel like one of those birds....just sitting on a branch, chirping away. Another bird joins in. Then another. And, after a time, there's a chorus of goodness surrounding me. Chirpers free to come and go as they will....each of us glad to sing alone and able to enjoy our time together. No one scoring points for how long they stay, how many they bring to the party...
or how perfectly they sing their tune.
Linking up here