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I Learned From My Mother That the Core Counted More

Joined: 5/14/2011
Posts: 53
A friend of mine recently sent me a picture of two (cartoon) bunnies. One was holding a big stem of leaves, but only had a tiny carrot underneath the soil. The other was holding a very small stem of leaves, but had a gigantic carrot waiting to be pulled out. It took me awhile to figure out the message behind the picture. Finally, I realized that the message was exactly the biggest lesson my mother tried to teach me my whole life: never underestimate what can only be seen right now.
My mother was always seen as fragile and sickly with a five-foot-one, ninety-pound frame. Indeed, she did get sick quite easily and frequently while growing up. However, fragile was the adjective she least likely wanted to be associated with. Nearing her sixties today, she has built herself up to become a powerhouse from the inside. Like with the bunny and carrot picture, it was the growth on the inside that counted. My mother recognized this and decided to grow. Her key to success was experience, which came in the form of virtually everything. The tip was the more you used your senses, the more you grew mentally, emotionally, and socially. For my mother, this included traveling, tasting new food, witnessing unfamiliar events, and joining others in various activities. She was not a “nature person”—that is, her skin literally reacted to a lot of sun exposure with red spots on the neck. Despite that, she decided Yosemite National Park would be the destination of one of our family trips. Granted that we stayed there for only a few hours, she was satisfied that we all got to see what Yosemite was. The curtain of butterflies we would encounter near the entrance, the breath-taking waterfalls that seemed surreal, the crowds of tourists occupying every cabin on Memorial Day weekend, the nearby Chinese restaurant with dishes that all tasted similar. . . We lived in California for years and finally we got a glimpse of one of the “100 Wonders of the World.” All the memories formed that one day rolled up into one bundle of an experience. Whether lackluster or amazing, each new experience came with more knowledge of the world. That was what my mother wanted to instill in me.
My mother always had the same stature—short and thin. Her wealth of knowledge, however, grew tremendously over the years. People still viewed her as fragile based on her physical appearance, but there was no need for her to defend herself. “They don’t know what I’ve seen,” she would say with much self-confidence. No one would guess that she was an accomplished banker, world traveler, and mother of two daughters. What is seen does not always equate to what is not. Elimination of boundaries attracts opportunities. Experience from those opportunities feeds the soul for growth, and inner growth leads to a bigger, better you. Do not let the irrelevant leaves fool you. It is the core that counts.
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