I came across a short story that applies to life right now.
The Seasons of Life
“There was a man who had four sons. He wanted his sons to learn to not judge things too quickly. So he sent them each on a quest, in turn, to go and look at a pear tree that was a great distance away.
The first son went in the winter, the second in the spring, the third in summer, and the youngest son in the 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 tree was ugly, bent, and twisted.
The second son said no—it was covered with green buds and full of promise.
The third son disagreed, he said it was laden with blossoms that smelled so sweet and looked so beautiful, it was the most graceful thing he had ever seen.
The last son disagreed with all of them; he said it was ripe and drooping with fruit, full of life and fulfillment.
The man then explained to his sons that they were all right, because they had each seen but one season in the tree’s life. He told them that you cannot judge a tree, or a person, by only one season, and that the essence of who they are—and the pleasure, joy, and love that come from that life—can only be measured at the end, when all the seasons are up.
If you give up when it’s winter, you will miss the promise of your spring, the beauty of your summer, fulfillment of your fall. Don’t judge a life by one difficult season. Don’t let the pain of one season destroy the joy of all the rest.”
2020 has been one rough season. I know I haven’t been my best this year because of social distancing and working from home. 2020 has looked a lot like the tree in the winter in a lot of ways and I know I’m not the only one.
In this time, know that many people are in that winter season. People are struggling and we can’t judge them based on just the past few months. Also remember to give yourself the benefit of the doubt during this season. You are going through one of the toughest times of your life so don’t beat yourself up for not reaching the standards you expect during a normal year.
I appreciate you.