To compare is human; to get over it, Divine

forblogThis is a picture of a section of hedge outside our office building.

Yes, it needs to be trimmed.  But today I am not writing about landscaping.

I am fascinated that a couple of shoots rise so high above all the others.  How can this be?  They all received the same nourishment or lack thereof. These particular branches are connected with, and I assume, genetically identical to others that are considerably shorter.

What is the difference?

One difference is that these taller branches likely got  a head start on some others.  Branches don’t all start out from the same place, now do they?

Another possibility is that, somehow, these may have been “lucky” branches in escaping the last cutting. Branches do not all fare the same when the blades of pruning come around, do they?

A third cause is actually the one I thought of that inspired me to take the picture. Even given equability of opportunity and starting point, some branches just manage to succeed more than others. Perhaps a little more sunlight here or there. Maybe the leaves were sitting at a better angle to catch light or water.

Really, there are so many variables it is hard to say why some branches do better than others.

If branches were people, we would likely make up some good stories explaining why some branches were meant to be longer than others, or why some branches work harder to grow than others.

But we would just be making up those stories, because we really don’t know all the factors.

Bloom where you are planted.  Grow as you can, when you can.  Enjoy conversations with others about the variety of growth, but don’t let the comparisons tear you apart.

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