03 June 2015
At my daughters school being chosen to give a one minute speech at the morning assembly was considered quite a privilege. When she was nominated for the task there was this whole pressure on her (and by default on me!!) to find a suitable and interesting subject. This was in the pre-Google days so she had to search through some books and magazines in the library and jot down possible topics. Finally we decided to go with the story of the Chinese Bamboo Tree. For a generation getting more and more used to instant gratification beginning with snacking on two-minute-noodles, it seemed a pertinent reminder of the virtues of patience and perseverance.
They say when you plant the seed of this tree, very little appears to happen in the first year. Inspite of all your efforts at watering and protecting the seedling, only a tiny shoot pokes out of the ground. In the second and third year too there is practically no growth at all…it remains a tiny plant despite your care and attention. Then in the fourth year the tree begins to grow and shoots up to a staggering 80-90 feet in just six weeks!!
Many things in life are like the Chinese-Bamboo-Tree. We invest time and effort into a project, a relationship, a business even people and frustratingly nothing happens. Often one just gives up. But if you persevere that magical fourth year comes and the results many a times far exceed your expectations.You have to constantly remind yourself that it took four years to grow the root system that would one day support a 90-foot plant. Lasting growth has to take place from the inside…it’s difficult to see the change taking place but it is a necessary process…the root system has to be established for the results to be visible on the ground.
And then in the real world you get those seeds whose ‘fourth year’ never comes…they just wither away and die. When that happens i tell myself…that wasn’t an original Chinese-Bamboo-Tree in the first place!!