The Fern And The Bamboo
A fable of hope
One day I decided to give up: I quit my job, my relationship and my life. I went into the woods to talk with an elder who was said to be very wise.
“Can you give me one good reason not to quit?” I asked him.
“Look around,” he replied. “Do you see the fern and the bamboo?”
“Yes,” I replied.
“When I planted the fern and the bamboo seeds, I took very good care of them. The fern quickly grew. Its brilliant green covered the floor. Yet nothing came from the bamboo seed. But I did not give up on the bamboo.
In the second year the fern grew more vibrant and plentiful, and again, nothing from the bamboo seed. But I did not give up on the bamboo.
In the third year still nothing sprouted from the bamboo seed. But I didn’t give up on the bamboo.
In the fourth year again nothing came from the bamboo seed. But I didn’t give up on the bamboo.
Then in the fifth year, a tiny shoot emerged from the earth. Compared to the fern, it was seemingly small and insignificant.
But then in the sixth year, the bamboo grew to 60 feet tall. It had spent five years growing roots to sustain it. Those roots made it strong and gave it what it needed to survive.
Did you know that all this time you have been struggling, you have really been growing roots?
The bamboo has a different purpose from the fern, but both are necessary and make the forest beautiful.”
Reprinted from Curriculum of Hope for a Peaceful World, Winter 2019. Find this newsletter online at http://dkgct.weebly.com.