My mum sent me a forwarded story via email this morning and although some of you may have read this before, I think that it is so very very relevant in today's world that I thought that I would share it with all of you.
"A successful business man was growing old and knew it was time to choose a successor to take over the business.
Instead of choosing one of his Directors or his children, he decided to do something different. He called all the young executives in his company together.
He said, "It is time for me to step down and choose the next CEO. I have decided to choose one of you. "The young executives were Shocked, but the boss continued. "I am going to give each one of you a SEED today - one very special SEED. I want you to plant the seed, water it, and come back here one year from today with what you have grown from the seed I have given you. I will then judge the plants that you bring, and the one I choose will be the next CEO."
One man, named Jim, was there that day and he, like the others, received a seed. He went home and excitedly, told his wife the story. She helped him get a pot, soil and compost and he planted the seed. Every day, he would water it and watch to see if it had grown. After about three weeks, some of the other executives began to talk about their seeds and the plants that were beginning to grow.
Jim kept checking his seed, but nothing ever grew. Three weeks, four weeks, five weeks went by, still nothing.
By now, others were talking about their plants, but Jim didn't have a plant and he felt like a failure.
Six months went by -- still nothing in Jim's pot. He just knew he had killed his seed. Everyone else had trees and tall plants, but he had nothing. Jim didn't say anything to his colleagues, however, he just kept watering and fertilizing the soil - He so wanted the seed to grow.
A year finally went by and all the young executives of the company brought their plants to the CEO for inspection.
Jim told his wife that he wasn't going to take an empty pot. But she asked him to be honest about what happened. Jim felt sick to his stomach, it was going to be the most embarrassing moment of his life, but he knew his wife was right. He took his empty pot to the board room.
When Jim arrived, he was amazed at the variety of plants grown by the other executives. They were beautiful - in all shapes and sizes. Jim put his empty pot on the floor and many of his colleagues laughed, a few felt sorry for him!
When the CEO arrived, he surveyed the room and greeted his youngexecutives. Jim just tried to hide in the back. "My, what great plants, trees and flowers you have grown," said the CEO. "Today one of you will be appointed the next CEO!"
All of a sudden, the CEO spotted Jim at the back of the room with his empty pot. He ordered the Financial Director to bring him to the front. Jim was terrified. He thought, "The CEO knows I'm a failure! Maybe he will have me fired!"
When Jim got to the front, the CEO asked him what had happened to his seed, Jim told him the story.
The CEO asked everyone to sit down except Jim. He looked at Jim, and then announced to the young executives, "Behold your next Chief Executive Officer! His name is Jim!" Jim couldn't believe it. Jim couldn't even grow his seed.
"How could he be the new CEO?" the others said.
Then the CEO said, "One year ago today, I gave everyone in this room a seed. I told you to take the seed, plant it, water it, and bring it back to me today. But I gave you all boiled seeds; they were dead – it was not possible for them to grow.
All of you, except Jim, have brought me trees and plants and flowers. When you found that the seed would not grow, you substituted another seed for the one I gave you. Jim was the only one with the courage and honesty to bring me a pot with my seed in it. Therefore, he is the one who will be the new Chief Executive Officer!"
* If you plant honesty, you will reap trust
* If you plant goodness, you will reap friends
* If you plant humility, you will reap greatness
* If you plant perseverance, you will reap contentment
* If you plant consideration, you will reap perspective
* If you plant hard work, you will reap success
* If you plant forgiveness, you will reap reconciliation
So, be careful what you plant now; it will determine what you will reap later. Think about this for a minute."
After reading the story, I realised how difficult it was to be like Jim and his wife in the world today when everyone is out there trying to be the best/richest regardless of how they get to this point. Sometimes we lose focus on the simple values that were taught to us when we were young, just so that we can “get ahead” in life. So many of us have become so materialistic that we don’t quite know why we are the way we are.
I am guilty of wanting and lusting after pretty things which is just horrible at times since it only stirs up feelings of jealousy and inadequacy in me though there are times when I am accepting and content with the things that God has already provided me. But I tend to sway at times, one time feeling like I want more all the time, the next feeling content with whatever I already have ~ yes I am quite odd.
This story has however, aspired me to be more like Jim’s wife. Supporting her husband in his task and encouraging him to do the right thing. Being a strong wife who not only is strong herself in her values but a wife who also supports her husband is so important and I hope I can be such a wife one day soon. I would also strive to be more like Jim who was a courageous and honest man. I put myself in Jim’s position and asked myself what I would have done in such a similar position and thankfully, I would have done what Jim did.
I think I am somehow like Jim which in some ways is my downfall in the corporate world we live in. But the honest, the ones with integrity and courage shall have their dues when the time comes. I pray that for all those out there facing similar battles of sometimes being overlooked, stepped on, used and a whole host of other office mumbo jumbo, that their time to shine will come. In the meantime, let us all learn to be more gracious, courageous and honest like Jim and his wife. Have a good day all.
Remember: "Hoarding & Collecting is not a crime. It is an art!"
Image source here