Promise Needs Patience

“They tried to bury us. They didn’t know we were seeds.”
Mexican Proverb

You might or might not have heard this story before, but here it goes. I’ll start with a question:

Does anyone here know about the growth pattern of a Bamboo plant?

When the farmers start growing Bamboo, they must nurture it, water it and take care of it during its first year. However, there is negligible growth. The farmers must have patience and continue to water it in its second year too. Even then, there is nothing much to see. They fertilize it with best quality manure so that they see something soon. But seasons after seasons, years after years, there is almost nothing to be proud of. It doesn’t even show proper sprout.

3 years pass. There’s still no motivation for the farmers to continue. But they continue to water and fertilize the plant. Even after the 4th year ends, there is still nothing. By this time, even the most motivated farmers give up. Who would keep watering the plant which shows no growth at all? But even then, the farmers persist.

Now, this is the time when the patience pays off. In the 5th year of its cultivation, Bamboo finally shows some traces up from the soil. Not only that, it reaches more than 60-80 feet up in the air in the same season itself. And then, it continues to stay strong, no matter how harsh the weather is. It bends, it twists, but it stays strong. In case, you don’t know Bamboo is a kind of Grass.

You know, all the years when it didn’t show any growth upwards, it was actually growing downwards. Yes, it was growing upside down. Its roots were getting longer and longer and they had eventually reached that length and gained enough strength that they could hold the soil to sustain 80 feet tall shoots of Bamboo.

Same is the way in which revolutions work and revolutions fail. If there are doubts in your convictions, your beliefs, and your aim, no matter what you do, you are bound to fail.

If you are doing things right with honesty, but you are not seeing any benefits, take some lessons about patience from the Bamboo. If you promise yourself patience and keep at it, it would need patience. It might take time, it might not show any positive results soon. But, if you keep working in the right direction, there will be a time that you will be really proud of yourself that you invested time on that very thing.

The above was used as part of my Presidential Speech Script in my Toastmaster’s Clubs Meeting. I had come across this story in this book: