Planting and Parenting

An alien landing in Israel on Tu B’shvat would think that we’re nuts (appropriate for Tu B’shvat, of course). Everyone is ceremoniously planting trees in the cold and seemingly barren ground. These conditions don’t seem to be conducive to growth and blooming.    

Planting is an act of faith. Placing a sapling in the frozen ground and expecting it to sprout is an act of faith. The faith stems from an inner knowledge that this sapling will become a beautiful tree, even if it seems unrealistic. Faith and belief mean trusting beyond what we see. The sapling appears weak and vulnerable; the odds don’t look promising for its development, especially in the cold, barren ground. Most likely, if we took into account only the probabilities based on what we see, no trees would be planted.    

 Yet we plant. Year in, year out, because somewhere deep down we believe.    

Parenting is an act of faith. There are countless occasions where as parents, we’re required to believe that the ‘sapling’ will develop to become beautiful and fully grown as a mature, responsible adult, despite bleak circumstances, portrayed by unacceptable behavior or difficult challenges. Like planting, looking beyond, and believing that there is much more than meets the eye, is the way to go, and there’s no limit to how much it will grow. 

 Food for thought: It seems that harsh weather harms the plant, yet any farmer will attest that these conditions contribute to successful growth.  

Similarly, what may seem like an impossible challenge, is what strengthens the child. Take, for example, walking. Watching a helpless crawling toddler learn to walk, falling/failing numerous times, is frustrating and discouraging. Yet we know that even falling has advantages since the muscles develop every time he rises again. Failure is an essential part of the growth process. We know it, and that’s why we don’t intervene.  We believe and know that beyond these failures lies a future of walking and running, growth and flourishing.     

Being realistic is looking beyond and not buying into what’s on the surface.   

Look beyond… Anything’s possible. 

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