Story No. 101 – Lessons on life

There was a man who had four sons. He wanted his sons to learn not to

judge things too quickly. So he sent them each on a quest, in turn, to go

and look at a pear tree that was a great distance away. The first son

went in the winter, the second in the spring, the third in summer, and

the youngest son in the fall.

When they had all gone and come back, he called them together to

describe what they had seen. The first son said that the tree was ugly,

bent, and twisted. The second son said no it was covered with green

buds and full of promise. The third son disagreed; he said it was laden with blossoms that smelled

so sweet and looked so beautiful, it was the most graceful thing he had ever seen. The last son

disagreed with all of them; he said it was ripe and drooping with fruit, full of life and fulfillment.

The man then explained to his sons that they were all right, because they had each seen but only

one season in the tree’s life. He told them that you cannot judge a tree, or a person, by only one

season, and that the essence of who they are and the pleasure, joy, and love that come from that

life can only be measured at the end, when all the seasons are up.

If you give up when it’s winter, you will miss the promise of your spring, the beauty of your

summer, fulfillment of your fall. Don’t let the pain of one season destroy the joy of all the rest.

Don’t judge life by one difficult season. Persevere through the difficult patches and better times are

sure to come some time or later.


A certain man planted a rose and watered it faithfully and before it blossomed,

he examined it. He saw the bud that would soon blossom, but noticed thorns

upon the stem and he thought, “How can any beautiful flower come from a

plant burdened with so many sharp thorns?” Saddened by this thought, he

neglected to water the rose, and just before it was ready to bloom… it died.

So it is with many people. Within every soul there is a rose. The good qualities planted in us at

birth, grow amid the thorns of our faults. Many of us look at ourselves and see only the thorns,

the defects.

We despair, thinking that nothing good can possibly come from us. We neglect to water the good

within us, and eventually it dies. We never realize our potential.

Some people do not see the rose within themselves; someone else must show it to them. One of the

greatest gifts a person can possess is to be able to reach past the thorns of another, and find the

rose within them.

This is one of the characteristic of love… to look at a person, know their true faults and accepting

that person into your life… all the while recognizing the nobility in their soul. Help others to realize

they can overcome their faults. If we show them the “rose” within themselves, they will conquer

their thorns. Only then will they blossom many times over.

The most favorable friend to me is that who shows me my flaws. Imam Sadiq (AS)