In our last house, each of the children had his or her favorite tree in the yard. Yesterday, the boys confessed to one of their sisters that, whenever they had to poop scoop the yard, they would dump the poo under her tree. “Why did you do this?” I asked. “We wanted to punish her,” said one brother, sheepishly. “Punish her for what?” I asked. “I have no idea,” said brother.
It got me thinking: Does anyone ever dump poo all over your tree? Do people accuse you of things you didn’t do or blame you for circumstances that aren’t under your control? Do family members ever place upon you expectations that are unrealistic or meant to benefit them? Do they slander you behind your back, dumping poo without your knowledge, but placing it under your tree all the same?
We can’t control the people who do the dumping, but we can control our response to it. When my daughter found out what her brothers had done, she was offended, even though the poo dumping happened years ago. When people dump poo on us, being offended is an understandable response. When seeing how offended his sister was, brother chuckled embarrassingly. “Don’t feel bad,” he said. “Out of all our trees, yours ended up being the tallest.”
The moral of this short story about excrement is this: Even when people dump poo on you, it might just turn out to be the fertilizer that grows you into the tallest and strongest, and most beautiful tree in the garden.
Take that, brother.