There was a man who had four sons.
He wanted his sons to learn
to not judge things too quickly.
So he sent them each on a quest,
to go and look at a pear tree
that was a great distance away.
The first son went in winter,
the second in spring,
the third in summer,
and the youngest son in fall.
When they had all gone and come back,
he called them together
to describe what they had seen.
The first son said
that the tree was ugly, bent, and twisted.
The second son said
no – it was covered with green buds
and full of promise.
The third son disagreed,
it was laden with blossoms
that smelled so sweet
and looked so beautiful,
it was the most graceful thing he had ever seen.
The last son disagreed with all of them;
he said it was ripe
and drooping with fruit,
full of life and fulfillment.
The man then explained to his sons
that they were all right,
they had each seen but one season in the tree's life.
He told them
that you cannot judge a tree,
or a person,
by only one season,
and that the essence of who they are
– and the pleasure, joy, and love
that come from that life
can only be measured at the end,
when all the seasons are up.
If you give up when it's winter,
you will miss the promise of your spring,
the beauty of your summer,
fulfillment of your fall.
Don't judge a life by one difficult season.
Don't let the pain of one season
destroy the joy of all the rest.