By cultivating the beautiful we scatter the seeds of heavenly
flowers, as by doing good we cultivate those that belong to humanity •
Robert A. Heinlein
We may never know how many dreams may have been destroyed by the
words of others. How many lives took a different turn because of lack of
What if you could have been a very different person if only someone
did not repeat it to you over and over again that you are useless? What
if you gave up long time ago because people who loved you told you that
you would never make it? What if someone told you that you were too
stupid, too ugly, too poor, too young, too old to even make it in a big
world? What if that person was someone you loved and trusted?
What if the chronic seed of insecurity was planted in your heart long
time ago and today you still struggle to become a respected human
I know people who had chosen “smaller” lives because their wings were
cut off when they were young. Like many others I also gave up some
dreams because I was told that people so much better than me could not
make it in a particular field so why would I even want to waste my time
and energy in order to fail. This was back in high school and when I
look back I still regret that I listened to my teacher…
You see, one can still have a very successful and fulfilled life even
if one gave up his dreams, but this is not what I want to talk about in
this article. Instead, I want to concentrate on the fact that
everything we say has consequences.
Words carry enormous energy. It doesn’t matter whether it is your
private self talk, or whether you voice your opinions and criticize
others. Every time you say something you plant a seed. Why not plant a
seed of goodness? Sometimes a good word is all a person needs to see the
light. A good word might be all a person needs to feel worthy again.
You may realize that sometimes your good words may be falling on a
barren ground, but this should not discourage you from trying to
encourage others. Some people have such strong beliefs about themselves
that no amount of encouragement will help them change the direction of
their lives. But there are others who simply cannot believe that what
they’ve got is all they deserve in life.
Imagine that you have met someone who was constantly discouraged and
forgot to believe in himself. In short time you realize that this person
is a goldmine of knowledge and has some hidden talents. Imagine that
your words of encouragement wake up his old desire to do exceptional
things. Imagine that this encounter changed that man’s life forever.
This happens over and over again when people meet up with
motivational speakers or success coaches. The good word sparks a wave of
enthusiasm and a will to change. If this can happen to adults, why not
encourage kids when they are still full of hope. Why not teach them to
dream big? Why not plant a seed of goodness?
And remember to plant a seed of goodness in your own heart because
you are good and worthy and no one can take this away from you. But if
you have nothing good to say, do not say anything at all.
Imagine that you are a lotus seed buried beneath a muddy lotus pond. There is mud all around you, and you can feel them clearly. Above you, above this muddy pool of dirt, mud and filth, are sunshine and air. You are not disheartened as you begin your journey towards the surface.
With a determined heart, you begin to wiggle in the earth. You grow roots deep, deep into the mud. Your little stem grows up slowly. Suddenly, "pop" you are out of the mud! Your stem grows higher and higher, taller and taller. You rise up slowly fighting against the muddy water. All of a sudden, you are out of the muddy pond! You reach up towards the warm sun, shining down on you.
Your lotus bud begins to grow on top of your stem. It expands and grows larger and larger, finally bursting into full bloom. A white lotus flower. You stand beautifully above the muddy water, not dirtied by the mud from which you grow. You are white, fragrant and beautiful.
Everyone who saw you marveled at your beauty! Your determination to grow out of the muddy pond reminds them of the Buddha and his journey towards Enlightenment. The Buddha, like a lotus, is determined to grow out of the muddy surroundings, that is the defilements and sufferings of life. He has done all that is to be done and he is showing us that we can all do it too. We may have defilements but we all have the potential of growing out of our defilements and achieving wisdom, like the Buddha.
You are a beautiful white lotus flower, and your role is to remind people to rise above their defilements and sufferings, just as you are arising above the muddy water and not dirtied by the mud from which you grow.