We all bare unique fruits

Einstein

      I went for a run the other day in the streets of South Tampa, the most beautiful neighborhood I had seen in a while since I am usually surrounded by nature. The houses looked straight out of a Hemingway novel. You could smell the salty ocean in the air. And everyone that passed by offered a gracious good morning. It was just picture perfect. I got lost in thought just enjoying my surroundings. Then, in the distance, something I considered unusual caught my eye.

     There was a large beautiful corner home with the largest, most glorious orange trees I had ever seen. It is well known that oranges grow well in Florida, but I find it more common to come across mangos and avocados growing in someone’s yard than seeing a fruit baring orange tree. This tree was particularly special because there were so many oranges that you could barely see the green leaves. It was a sight that drew my attention in excitement, but as I got closer and closer I started to realize that the hundreds of oranges this tree had bared were all rotting away.

 

      I stopped running. The feeling was overwhelming. In one hand, the awe for the ability this tree had to produce fruit seemed like such a blessing. How proud must the owner be to have such a glorious tree. But on the other hand… the oranges were rotting away. To me this was a mirror to life, and in my world, to children’s potential. Here was a tree that had accomplished an unbelievable task, but because no one was there to appreciate its offerings and talent, the fruit were just going to waste, rotting away.

     This happens to many children every day. Our current educational system has been set up for a certain type of personality, and to create workers for certain types of jobs, and unfortunately everyone that doesn’t fit into the mold is not praised or appreciated for their talents. This causes children’s self-esteem to start to waste away. Brings them to a state of “I am not good enough”, instead of them finding what they are good at and relishing in that.

     Most parents know what their child is good at, but sometimes community standards causes us to advice that some subjects be used as hobbies instead of a main focus. Art “will not pay the bills” sort of speak. So a child that may be an artist at heart can be forced to focus on academics that may bring about poor grades and a feeling of failure. It may even bring lifelong unhappiness.

     By any means, I don’t mean not have your child partake in an academic education. I am a true believer that children should learn as many things in as many fields as possible. But as they do so, make sure to honor the fruits of their labor and acknowledge their true passions, for nurturing their heart is just as important as keeping them physically healthy. And a true gift is raising a happy child.

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