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Guest post by J. M. Hawkins


Dear Soul,

When I compare myself to others, I think I’m behind.

Dear Life,

When you compare yourself to others, I think you are a “behind”—and can only become more so, the more you compare.

You are unique, so don’t compare.

Dare to be yourself, be rare.

Which reminds me of a story…

A little girl, the smallest of them all, said, “Tell me a story, granny.” And this is the story her granny told.

“Once upon an apple tree, a beauty of a bud decided she wanted to be the first to blossom. Then the other buds—caught up in the fever of comparing themselves to each other—began to strain and push, wanting to be the first to bloom. However, there was one bud, the littlest bud, who did not join them. She said, ‘Inside myself, I know it is not time for me.’

“That night, a killing frost came, and all the early-blooming buds were lost. But the littlest bud, the late bloomer, survived and bore fruit…following the seasons of her life.”

“Oh,” said the little girl, “I want to be the one who blossomed in her own time.” And she did just that. Years later, she told the story to her own children, adding these lines:

Early bloomers, lost to the frost,

Late bloomers, a blast to the last.

Today, instead of comparing myself to others, I’ll think about what time it is in my life. And I’ll say to that neglected gift, talent, or dream, “It’s never too late to be a late bloomer.”