There has been a package of seeds sitting on the floor of my car for two weeks. They fell out of a bag on a recent trip to Lowe's and, for whatever reason, I haven't stopped to pick them up.
Never mind plant them, water them, and nurture them.
No big deal, right?
The seeds were only $0.89 and, therefore, easy for me to dismiss. Instead, I say to myself "Next time. I'm in a rush right now."
Unplanted seeds are not demanding. They don't wilt when they are not watered and they don't require sunlight. Instead, I think "Not today, my hands are already full."
Also, the consequence of not tending to packaged seeds is no where near as severe as not tending to a gallon of milk left in the trunk of my car, so, instead, I justify by saying "Not to worry, I'll get to it later."
But, what if?
What if unplanted seeds were like the uncultivated talents of our children, our staff members, or even ourselves? Would we treat them differently?
Maybe not. Innate talents, after all, cost even less than my $0.89 package of seeds. They are free.
Uncultivated talents aren't demanding either. Why should they be? They don't know their potential.
The immediate consequences of not tending to the talents of our children, our employees, and ourselves is no more life threatening than leaving seeds in the car - and it's certainly less stinky than a demanding gallon of milk.
But the contrast between a botanical garden and the unopened package of seeds, face down in the trunk of my car, is stark. One walk through the lush grounds of garden and the unfortunate impact of being preoccupied and inattentive is clear. Seeds that are nurtured grow into gardens that are colorful and fragrant. They attract beautiful wild life and inspire us to take photographs and share picnics.
But unopened seeds can do none of that. Unopened seeds, left alone and not nurtured, are just that - seeds left alone, never able to realize their truest beauty.
When seeds become talents and parents or bosses become gardeners, suddenly the idea of leaving unopened seeds in the trunk of my car seems down right irresponsible.
Shining off until tomorrow...