BLOOM WHERE YOU ARE PLANTED

“When you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced; live your life so that when you die, the world cries and you rejoice.” – Indian proverb

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When we were still young, we really don’t know what will become of us.  We have visions, dreams, aspirations, and wishes. 

In some instances, there are those who already picture themselves as successful engineers, teachers, doctors, mathematicians, teachers, nurses, scientists, singers, thespians, and business tycoons. 

From the little town where they grow up, they transfer to a city to finish the course which they have been longing for.  There are those who make it while there are those who fail to make a mark. 

Some of those who finish college become successful in their chosen careers.  They excel, they get awards and recognition, they are celebrated and become the toast of the country.  But there are a few whose life remain the same; they never seem to grow despite all the hard work they have toiled.

Are these people a complete failure?  Why they never take off?  Why they think they are not successful in life?  Whatever happened?  What’s wrong with these people? You may be one of those asking these questions.

Before answering those questions, allow me to share the story told by Dr. Robert H. Schuller in his book, Discover Your Possibilities.  I know what you are thinking now, but read the story below:

A young soldier brought his wife out with him in one of the Army bases in California.  The only housing the couple could find was an old shack that had been abandoned by the Indians.

For the first few days, the wife found it tolerable, and even rather pleasant.  After all, they had just married and they were together. But as days passed, it became lonely and boring.  Then the winds came, and the sandstorms struck and the heat went up over 115°.  To her, the situation became intolerable.

When her husband was assigned to spend two weeks deeper in the desert, she reached the bottom of her negative, lonely attitude.  She wrote her mother, saying: “Mother, I’m coming home.  I can’t stand it here.”

Within a week, she received a letter back from her mother with only these lines: “Dear Daughter, Two men sit in prison bars: one sees mud, the other stars. Love, Mother.”

She read the lines over and over again, until she was ashamed of herself.  That night, she thought how would the stars look like from the place.  She went out of her shack and discovered that there was no other place in the world where the stars shine brighter than over the deserts of California.  She was thrilled to see the beauty of the stars.

The next day, she decided to take a walk, to explore the place where she was staying.  She walked down the road to the Indians who lived in shacks not far from her.  They had never spoken, and she was certain the Indians were hostile and unfriendly.  But she was wrong.  She found out later that they were friendly and even welcomed her with open arms.

The following day, several little Indian boys brought her seashells and told her the legend of how long ago the desert was the ocean floor.  She became intrigued and started to collect seashells in the desert.  She was fascinated.

By the time her husband returned, she was already sort of an authority on the desert.  She even wrote a book on it!  She fell in love with the desert and wept when she had to say goodbye to the most beautiful friends she had ever had – the Indians.

“Bloom where you are planted,” Dr. Schuller wrote.  “I have learned that in whatever circumstance, condition or place I find myself, with the help of God, I can turn it into a garden.  You will begin to bloom when you exercise a deep beautiful faith that God didn’t make a mistake when he put you where you are.”

It is by finding your main purpose in life that you can bloom much better.  “If you have a strong purpose in life, you don’t have to be pushed.  Your passion will drive you there,” wrote Roy T. Bennet in The Light in the Heart.

But how will you know the purpose of your life?  “Life is filled with unanswered questions, but it is the courage to seek those answers that continues to give meaning to life,” J.D. Stroube explained in his book, Caged by Damnation.  “You can spend your life wallowing in despair, wondering why you were the one who was led towards the road strewn with pain, or you can be grateful that you are strong enough to survive it.”

Still lost and don’t know your purpose here on earth?  Allow me to remind you the time when Alice encountered a cat in Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland.   The cat asked the little girl: “Where are you going?”  Alice replied with a question: “Which way should I go?”

The cat, surprised by her answer, told her: “That depends on where you are going.”  Alice was bewildered as she really didn’t know where to go.  The cat said: “Then it doesn’t matter which way you go.”

Thomas Carlyle said it right: “The person without a purpose is like a ship without a rudder.”  Rick Riordan, the man behind The Blood of Olympus, also said, “A wind that blows aimlessly is no good to anyone.” 

That’s why you have to find your purpose and bloom there.  “I realized then that even though I was a tiny speck in an infinite cosmos, a blip on the timeline of eternity, I was not without purpose.”

Deepak Chopra pointed this out: “Everyone has a purpose in life… a unique gift or special talent to give to others.  And when we blend this unique talent with service to others, we experience the ecstasy and exultation of our own spirit, which is the ultimate goal of goals.”