A person who had given up on life, one day went to the woods to wander around and try to find one good reason not to quit. Suddenly he heard a voice talking inside his head:
“Look around,” the voice said. “Do you see the fern and the bamboo?”
“Yes,” he replied.
“When I planted the fern and the bamboo seeds, I took very good care of them. I gave them light. I gave them water. The fern quickly grew from the earth. Its brilliant green covered the floor. 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. In year three, there was still nothing from the bamboo seed, but I would not quit. In year four, again there was nothing from the bamboo seed and still I would not quit.”
“Then in the fifth year, a tiny sprout emerged from the earth. Compared to the fern, it seemed small and insignificant. But just six months later the bamboo rose to over 100 feet tall. It had spent those five years growing its roots. Those roots made it strong and gave it what it needed to survive.”
Then the voice explained, “Nature would not give anyone a challenge they cannot handle. Did you know that all this time you have been struggling, you have actually been growing roots? Don’t compare yourself to others. The bamboo had a different purpose than the fern. Yet they both make the forest beautiful. Your time will come, and you will rise high.”
“How high would I rise?” the man asked.
“How high will the bamboo rise?” the voice asked in return.
“As high as it can?” the man questioned.
“Exactly! Rise as high as you can!” said the voice.