The fable of the fern and the bamboo that you should read when you go through a difficult time

Every day we do lots of things, with one ultimate reason: to live happily. But many times something happens that changes the rules; We confuse happiness with success.

We want our actions to work and work now. If that doesn’t happen, we feel like we’re wasting our time, and try something new. Glory must be possible!

In this constant coming and going trying to achieve our goals, we end up doubly distressed: we do not reach the objectives and, what is worse, we do not live happily.

For this reason, in the moments when you feel that nothing you do is bearing fruit and life is going uphill; When you feel like giving up everything because it doesn’t make sense, remember the fable of the fern and the bamboo:

Once upon a time there was a carpenter who seemed to have his life figured out. He had his workshop, a woman he loved, and two children. However, one day he began to have fewer orders, so there began to be financial problems in the house.

The man wanted to take care of his work, and to do so he began to try different ways to move his workshop forward, but none of them worked. The economic problems began to cause problems with his wife, and the children, seeing them sad and fighting, began to have difficulties at school.

The carpenter felt discouraged: nothing he did seemed to make sense, since things were getting worse and worse. One day, about to throw in the towel, he decided to go to the forest to see a wise old man.

He had walked half an hour through the woods when he met the old man. He had a humble house and when he saw the carpenter he invited him to come in for tea. He noticed the concern on his face and asked what was wrong. The carpenter told him about his misadventures, while the old man listened attentively and serenely.

When they finished tea, the old man invited the carpenter to go to a splendid lot at the back of the house. There were the fern and the bamboo, next to dozens of trees. The old man asked him to look at both plants and told him that he had to tell him a story.

“Eight years ago I took some seeds and planted the fern and bamboo at the same time. I wanted both plants to grow in my garden, because I find both very comforting. I put all my effort into taking care of both of them as if they were a treasure”

“A short time later I noticed that the fern and the bamboo responded differently to my care. The fern began to sprout and in just a few months it became a majestic plant that adorned everything with its presence. The bamboo, on the other hand, was still underground, showing no signs of life.”

“A whole year passed and the fern was still growing, but the bamboo was not. However, I did not give up. I continued to take care of him with greater care. Still, another year passed and my work bore no fruit. The bamboo refused to manifest itself.”

“I also didn’t give up after the second year, or the third, or the fourth. When five years had passed, I finally saw that one day a timid twig. The next day it was much bigger. In a few months it grew non-stop and became a prodigious bamboo of more than 10 meters. Do you know why it took so long to come to light?

The carpenter, after hearing the story, had no idea why the bamboo had taken so long to manifest. So, the old man told him.

“It took five years because during all that time the plant was working to take root. He knew that he had to grow very tall and that is why he could not come out into the light until he had a firm base that would allow him to rise satisfactorily. Do you understand?”

The carpenter, then, understood that all his struggles were destined to take root. And that the fact of not seeing the fruits of his labor at that moment did not mean that he was wasting his time, but that he was getting stronger.

Before letting him go, the old man gave the carpenter one last message:

“Happiness keeps you sweet. Attempts keep you strong. The pains keep you human. Falls keep you humble. Success keeps you bright”

This story should remind you that no matter how long it takes for something to come to fruition. The most important thing in a difficult moment is not to search at all costs to see results.

Instead, the key is to work hard at the roots. Well, only thanks to them can you grow and become the best version of yourself.


The mind is wonderful