There were two neighbours. One was a retired school teacher and the other a retired businessman. They were chatting over the fence one day about gardening. They decided that it’d be an interesting experiment to plant the same plants at the same time in both of their gardens and see what happened.
The retired school teacher wasn’t particularly devoted to his garden. He kept an eye on it and stepped in when he needed to. Every now and again he watered it or pulled some weeds out. But he didn’t give it any specific care. He let it be and became delighted in its growing beauty as he walked past it every day to go to the letter box. Sometimes he’d sit and admire it on his bench.
The retired businessman was meticulous with his garden. He was always out weeding, watering, fertilising, sculpturing plants, applying pesticides and going over every fine detail. Just like he had done when he was running his business. He had great pride in his garden and put a lot of time and energy into it.
One day an intense storm came through. A strange thing happened. All the plants in the retired businessman’s garden were destroyed and flattened. However, the plants in the retired teacher’s garden were fine. A little dishevelled but overall OK.
The businessman was really upset by this and was expressing his distraught and dismay to the teacher. He couldn’t understand how after putting in all that time, energy and care, his garden had been destroyed while the teacher had done none of this and his garden was fine.
The teacher calmly explained that because he left his plants alone they had learned to adapt. They had developed deep roots to get their own nutrients from the soil. They had to come up with ways to store water or get by when there wasn’t much. They had to figure out how to fight off pests and diseases themselves. All of these small tests had made them stronger, so that when the intense storm came they were better equipped and could survive. By stepping back and not supporting them he had allowed the plants to become stronger.
Something to think about...
“You know who's gonna give you what you want? Yourself."
- Diane Von Furstenberg
Belgian-American Fashion Designer