Maulana Wahiduddin Khan | Speaking Tree Blog | Jan 24, 2022
A tree is a physical illustration of the spiritual life. Its story is a unique one. It begins from a small seed, and then it grows and grows, until it becomes a full-fledged tree. How does this miracle take place? It is due to an inner capacity of the tree, which enables it to take food from everything: from soil, water, air, and sunlight.
A seed is quite small, less than half-an-inch perhaps, but when it grows, it becomes a large tree, sometimes over a hundred feet tall. Man, also initially a seed, has likewise great potential and when he grows up, he becomes like a giant; a superman. When he is born, he already possesses all the great human qualities, but all these are in terms not of actuality but of potential. It is for man himself to turn this potential into actuality.
But there is a difference here. A seed grows automatically, following the law of nature. Man, however, is required to develop his personality by his own efforts. This requires conscious planning. Man should, accordingly, discover himself and plan for his development
We live in a world where we face different situations, both negative and positive, wanted and unwanted. All these are like food for human beings, food for our growth. We must extract nourishment for our development from all things and situations, including negative and unwanted ones, for we can learn much from these, too.
In this world, this is the course taken by human development and, to further it, man must take food from everything. When he is angry and controls his anger, he is training himself in the art of turning negativity into positivity. When he faces a crisis situation and manages to keep his patience, he is building up his capacity for positive planning. If he faces a violent situation and refrains from reacting, he is shaping his personality in such a way that he can maintain his peace of mind, no matter in what condition he finds himself.
This gives a person the ability to conserve his energies, so that he may devote himself entirely to constructive work. When one faces a provocative situation and maintains his balance, he is building up his self-control and thus creating a mindset that will enable him to effectively manage the periodic crises besetting almost everyone in this life. It is as if he has enrolled himself in a course of intellectual improvement.
All situations, both good and untoward, are like intellectual food. If you try to face these situations with a positive attitude, you will be helping yourself grow. You will be enhancing your creativity. You will be developing your personality along positive lines. One who adopts this course will surely emerge, sooner or later, as a well-developed personality, standing tall, like a full-grown tree.
Every person is born into this world with tremendous potential, but he or she has to work hard to unfold it. This potential is bestowed on everyone by nature, but its unfolding is a task which each and every individual has to perform for himself. Nature never discriminates against anyone with regard to the blessings that it showers on one and all: in the last analysis, it is left to man himself to become a success or a failure.