Once upon a time, there were two plants: One was a small sapling that had to work very hard to grow and photosynthesize. The other was a large and beautiful sunflower that could grow anywhere at any time and be enjoyed by all. Here a couple of visual aids:
See? The small sapling on the left is almost being RIDICULED by the beautiful flower on the right. Doesn’t it just make you want to cry?
So, while the little sapling struggled and toiled through the summer, nearly being torn from the ground by the mildest of thunderstorms, the sunflower grew and thrived. Even the gardener seemed to favor the sunflower, showing her off to anyone who visited his garden, “Isn’t she just a pretty little showstopper?” he would say, “My favorite flower!” he would smile.
This was just painful.
To add insult to injury, the sunflower would taunt the sapling as she waved in the wind, “What are you doing down there little sapling?” the sunflower would laugh, “Trying to put down roots? You’re probably just a little weed– all of your work is in vain!”
But the more the sunflower jeered, the harder the little sapling tried to grow. He would soak up the sun, absorb as much rain as he could, and even began to take resources from other nearby plants (which he didn’t feel great about, but he felt that he couldn’t help it).
The sunflower continued to grow almost effortlessly. She danced in the breeze and sprouted to almost 8 feet that summer. The sapling grew only a measly foot.
But one day, it began to get chilly. Winter was moving in and the sunflower began to wilt.
“Hey!” she yelled, “Little sapling– give me some of your water or sunlight! I’m wilting!”
The sapling replied, “I can’t! I’ve been storing up all summer.”
“Fine!” the sunflower yelled, “I’m much larger than you, so I’ll probably survive the winter better than you anyhow!”
But at that very moment, the proud gardener was showing another friend his garden. He said, “During the summer, I love my sunflowers, but do you know what my pride and joy is? This little guy.”
The gardener was pointing to the sapling!
The sunflower screamed, “But how could he favor you little sapling? You are so small and quaint!”
And, almost as if he had heard the angry sunflower, the gardener said, “Yessir, I love my sunflowers too, but they’re not perennials. This little guy will grow to be a big, strong tree. He’ll be by my side for the rest of my life.”
He was right.
And so, the little sapling lived happily ever after. The sunflower froze to death.
Ah, such is the circle of life.