Give people a chance

When we first moved into our house, there was this small, misshapen, bent tree in what seemed to be the worst spot. I took an instant dislike to it and planned to have it removed. But after some reflection, I thought i might see if I could help it grow straight and tall and give it a bit more TLC than what it appeared to have received.

So over the months I gave it physical support with a stake, extra nutrients from our compost bin, and watered it regularly. After 6 – 12 months we have this beautiful, straight, blooming red flowering gumtree. It’s just so beautiful.

As I stood admiring it today, and reflecting on some interpersonal dynamics I’ve had to deal with recently, I realised this tree symbolises all those weird, strange or ‘different’ people who come into our lives. They seem so out of place and unusual that we don’t embrace them and most often ignore or reject them. But when we include them, support them, and give them attention and acceptance, well, don’t they just bloom?

Give that odd mum in the school playground a chance. Make an effort to get to know that unusual colleague at work. Make time for that annoying relative everyone avoids.