Bloom Where You Are Planted
A few weeks ago, on one of our locally produced TV shows, there was a discussion with a group of brilliant students who will soon be entering secondary level schools. The host asked each student to describe their feelings about the school where they were placed. In Jamaica, we have a system that places students based on their grade at the last, Common Entrance, examinations in primary schools.
The only girl on the panel of five, aged 12, declared excitedly that she was very happy and was looking forward to going to High School even though the school where she was placed was not her first choice. This young woman said she believes one should always strive to “Bloom where they are planted.”
Soon after, I saw that my ‘Champion Sister’ (my nickname for Claudette P. Esterine), posted a similar message as this 12 year-old had said that had me ‘flabbergasted’. I was surprised and very proud of her and her words at such a young age. She caused me to do some reflection about my life.
Have I always bloomed wherever I was planted? In my blooming, am I hurting others as I allow my blossoms to burst forth?
Be The Best At Whatever You Are
Seeking external motivation, I often listen to the speeches of Martin Luther King, Jnr. They are all favourites but one that resonates with me most is the “Street Sweeper” speech:
“If you cannot be a pine on the top of a hill be a scrub in the valley, but be the best little scrub on the side of the hill. Be a bush if you can’t be a tree. If you can’t be the sun, be a star. It isn’t by size that you win or fail. Be the best at whatever you are.”
Another excerpt that stands out for me is:
“My friends, even if it falls your lot to be a Street Sweeper, go on out and sweep streets like Michelangelo painted pictures; sweep streets like Handel and Beethoven composed music; sweep streets like Shakespeare wrote poetry. Sweep streets so well that all the hosts of Heaven and Earth will have to pause and say, ‘Here lived a great Street Sweeper who swept his job well’.”
Know Your Lane, Run Your Best Race
A lot of my friends are not very comfortable with their status at this point. They are continuously seeking ways to get themselves out of their present situation with such a rush, hoping to make a ‘better life’. What challenges me however, is that they seldom spend enough time to study their lanes and run their best race. [tweetthis]Know Your Lane and Run Your Race! Read more in this awesome post![/tweetthis]
Charlotte Beck said,
“Life always gives us exactly the teacher we need at every moment. This includes every mosquito, every misfortune, every red light, every traffic jam, every obnoxious Supervisor (or employee), every illness, every loss, every moment of joy, or depression, every addiction, every piece of garbage, every breath—–every moment is a Teacher.”
Life also has a way of putting a hold or pause button on our journey. You can either sweep your job well or frustrate yourself by cursing where you are and make plans to escape from the situation. Be warned, however, that if fate dictates that you stay in the ‘holding’ position, the escape plan will be an effort in futility. It is best that you embrace and till the soil, bringing forth plants which bloom until the change comes along.
Blooms do not always have the same look. A huge sunflower and a small daisy both bloom – different sizes but both bring so much pleasure and joy. Size does not alter the impact.
Sunflower, daisy or dandelion bloom where you are planted, accept your present circumstances and make the best of the situation. Accept that you cannot control everything and make the best of the situations you are presented with. There are many things in life we cannot change but it will be a much more pleasant experience if you keep a positive attitude.
This is my status on the messaging app on my phone and I am in no hurry to change it:
“Instead, pursue the things you love doing, and then do them so well that people cannot take their eyes off you.”
That, in my view, is blooming exactly where you are planted. Would you agree? Share your blooming story with us in the comments below and do share this with your friends, their children and your children as they head back to school for another blooming year!
Have a great rest of the week!
Clara Brown is an Insurance Executive who lives in Kingston, Jamaica with her spouse and son who recently passed his Common Entrance examination for the school of his choice.