Previous: Shitty Lessons
"I know you'll be hurt when you see other kids get recognized and I don't get anything. So please don't come to my school prize giving ceremony this year."
Rosh was shocked to hear this. When father and son sat silently for a long time, Isha came up to Rosh and quietly pressed his hand. He looked up at her, and saw his pain reflect in her eyes.
“I’ll go,” she offered, “I’ll take an early leave from work.”
“No,” he said finally, “As their father, I must share in whatever my sons get – whether it be glory or shame."
"If I went for my elder son, I must go for my younger son, regardless of the different outcomes. His brother walked the catwalk every year, and I basked in his glory and felt proud.”
“It was not my effort, yet I lived that glory vicariously as a parent. Now it’s payback time for those vicarious pleasures."
"I cannot disown my younger son’s failures. I must stand beside him, in his mediocrity and accept my fait accompli graciously.”
“Don’t go Pa,” a silent tear ran down Josh’s cheeks, “It is not a good result.”
Rosh looked at his son with deep compassion and love. Then he said, "But don’t you see son? That is precisely the reason I must go this year.”
“I will not fail you, although you think you have failed yourself. I want you to see and remember that I was there for you this day. That I still believed in you, and that I didn’t give up on you. Like my father, who never gave up on me.”
“Over the years, I have read many versions of a story of a man who got so sick of his life and his failures, that he quit everything and wandered into the woods for his last reflections. Pain cleansed him, and in a moment of clarity he had communion with God.”
“God”, he asked, “Tell me why shouldn’t I quit now?”
God’s answer surprised him.
"Look around you child", God said, "Do you see the fern and the bamboo?"
"Yes", he replied.
"When I planted their seeds, I took equally good care of both. I gave them light. I gave them water. The fern sprouted forth quickly. Its beautiful green adorned the earth. Yet nothing came from the bamboo seed. But I did not quit on the bamboo.”
“In the second year the Fern grew more vibrant and plentiful. And again, nothing came from the bamboo seed. But I did not quit on the bamboo," he said.
"Year after year, the fern flourished, and the bamboo just lay hidden beneath the soil, wanting simply to be forgotten. But I did not forget it, and I would not quit on it.”
"Then one fine morning, a tiny bamboo sprout peeked shyly out of the earth. Compared to the fern, it was so small and insignificant, so unsure of itself, but I looked at it and I smiled. Its time had come. Its rise had begun.”
“In just a few months thereafter, the bamboo reached for the skies towering over the rest of the world around it, with a power that astounded and an intensity that terrified. It quickly grew to over a 100 feet tall.”
“It had spent all these years growing roots. Those roots made it strong and gave it what it needed to power ahead in life. I would not give any of my creations a challenge they could not handle."
"Did you know my child,” God said to him, “that all this time you have been struggling; you have actually been growing roots? I would not quit on the bamboo. I will never quit on you."
"Don't compare yourself to others," God said, "The bamboo and the fern are different. Their tracks are different, their purposes are different. Yet the forest needs them both, and they both make the forest beautiful and bountiful."
"Your time will come", God said to him, "You will rise high."
"How high would I rise?" he asked.
"How high did the bamboo rise?" God asked in return.
"As high as it could," he offered.
"Yes," said God, "Give me glory by rising as high as you can."
"How could I do that?" he asked.
"How did the bamboo do that?" God asked in return.
"By growing roots," he offered.
"Yes," said God, "Grow roots. Be the best of what you were born to be. Be the best of whatever you can be. Fulfill your potential.”
"So, do not be afraid of falling. Of making mistakes. Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”
“Act. Without fear. With the faith that He who began a good work in you will complete it too.”
Next: The Sound Of Music