Here is your Wednesday story from my never ending notebook and everlasting coloured pencil.
Two seeds lay in a shallow depression in the field where the farmer had thrown them. As the autumn days passed, birds searching for worms, and the wintry wind, loosened the earth, which slowly began to cover them.
Patiently they waited as the nights grew longer and the days grew colder. They huddled together for warmth. Even below the surface of the earth they noticed the changes going on above them. They felt the quality of the rain change as the warm autumn winds from the west gave way to the sleety slanting wintery winds from the north.
They waited patiently as the hardness of winter set in. They felt the first sharp clasp of the frost upon the ground and then the weight of the winter snows piling high above them. And they huddled together even closer. And they waited.
Eventually, the pressure changed, the snow began to melt, and the soil once again became soft and moist. Warm spring winds gently began to caress the fields and both seeds began to feel strange and powerful urges within themselves.
The first little seed pondered,” I wonder what’s up there,” and he began to push curious little green shoots upwards in the direction of the earth’s crust. “And I wonder what’s down there,” he said, and began to push enquiring little roots in to the soil below.
But the second little seed said, “I’ve no idea what’s up there. It could be scary. And I don’t know what’s down there. That’s really frightening. So I think I’ll just stay here a little longer.”
Soon, the first seed pushed through the earth and was enjoying the sensation of warm spring sunshine, the freshness of the air, and all the wonderful things that she now saw around her. Her roots too were pushing deep into the soil below, drawing energy, nourishment and strength from the richness of the environment.
But the second little seed continued with its inner monologue. “It could be dangerous up there. Who knows what’s down there? I think I’ll just stay here a little longer.”
By the end of spring, the first little seed stood strong and tall, surveying the fields from some height with considerable pleasure and sense of achievement. Her roots were deeply centred in the ground, providing a foundation from which she could blossom and grow even stronger.
Meanwhile, the second little seed was still continuing with its risk-free strategy.
Until a chicken came along, and ate it.
You, like me, probably see the first seed demonstrating curiosity, wonder and a willingness to take action because the first seed is prepared to take risks.
The second seed on the other hand suppresses these feelings and because of anxiety, and fear chooses the safe option.
So here are some points to ponder…….
• How is this story relevant to your parenting?
• How can you move out of your comfort zones to expand your own learning and growth?
• If you stay stuck in routines, ruts and comfort zones – what does this teach your children?
• How can you teach your kids to be curious, playful and trust their intuition?
• How can you teach your kids about taking educated, considered risks that sometimes take them out of their comfort zones but also keeps them safe in the world?
• How can you teach your children that staying stuck in inaction is also a choice?
• How can you encourage your children to live a purposeful, useful and fulfilling life?
• How can you teach your kids not to take action too quickly?
• How can you help your kids to think through the consequences of their actions?
• How can you teach your children to take personal responsibility for their actions?
• How can you be a wise leader and role model for your kids and teach them about striking a balance between action and reflection?
• What is this story saying to you about your own life?
If you have found this story thought provoking, feel free to pass it on to parents, teachers and friends who would enjoy it too.
“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much” – Helen Keller
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About the author
Sue Atkins is a Parenting Expert who offers practical guidance for bringing up happy, confident, well behaved children. She is also the author of “Raising Happy Children for Dummies” one in the famous black and yellow series published worldwide and the highly acclaimed Parenting Made Easy CDs. She regularly appears on BBC Breakfast and The Jeremy Vine Show on BBC Radio 2 and her parenting articles are published all over the world.
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Sue Atkins the Parenting Expert
T: + 44 1342 833355 M: 07740 622769
Surrey RH7 6LF