Dearest Darling Friends,
The maturity we develop in approaching difficulties is illustrated by the traditional story of a poisoned tree. On first discovering a poisoned tree, some people immediately cry about their misfortune. They blame the tree. They curse the tree. They believe, whatever is NOT OK in their life, is because of the presence of this tree. Their approach is self-pity.
Some people’s approach is not self-pity but anger and arrogance. They see a danger in the poisoned tree. Their immediate reaction is, “Let’s cut this down before we are harmed.” This resembles our initial response to the difficulties that arise in our lives when we encounter aggression, depression, or sorrow in ourselves and others. Our initial response is to avoid them, saying, “These poisons afflict us. Let us uproot them. Let us get rid of them. Let us cut them down.”
Other people, who have journeyed along the path of maturity do not meet the poisoned tree with aversion. They meet the poisoned tree with compassion. They say, “Let us not cut it down. Instead, let’s have compassion for the tree as well.” So, out of kindness, they build a fence around the tree so that others may not be poisoned and the tree may also have its life. This third approach shows a profound shift in relationships from:
1. Self-pity to
2. Anger and arrogance to
The fourth type of person, who has travelled yet deeper in maturity, sees this same tree. This person says, “Oh, a poisoned tree. Perfect! Just what I was looking for.” This individual picks the poisoned fruit, investigates its properties, mixes with other ingredients, and uses the poison as a great medicine to heal the sick and transform the ills of the world. Through respect which leads to the understanding that is enhanced with determination, this person sees in a way opposite to most people and finds value in the most difficult circumstances.
It is people like these who become the North Star to all who know about them. This North Star lies within each one of us. May your North Star ALWAYS guide you.
With love, prayers and exceptional wishes,
Imagine, when we wake up, we are given only what we had thanked for.