IMG_0933It’s a simple, lifelong lesson. Processes take time. In fact, I have come to understand that the compliment to small belief is not great belief, but persevering belief.

Today, I bought some petunias for our lanai. According to Wikipedia experts,

Petunia seeds germinate in 5 to 15 days. Petunias can tolerate relatively harsh conditions and hot climates. They need at least five hours of sunlight every day. They grow well in low humidity, moist soil. Young plants can be grown from seeds. Petunias should be watered once every two to five days. In drier regions, the plants should be watered daily. Dead petals should be pruned so that the younger branches can flourish. Maximum growth occurs in late spring.

This description helps me understand some lessons about process and perseverance.

  • They take time to germinate (from less than a week to more than two weeks). Some flowers take longer to develop than others, even though they are part of  the same plant.
  • They can persevere in harsh conditions. Even when the sun is the hottest in summer, they need a daily dose of sunshine to thrive. And, even though they enjoy moist soil, they can withstand not being watered for 2-5 days. They don’t need constant care; periodic attention is adequate.
  • Pruning is necessary for the best growth.
  • Spring is the best growth time

Are there some perseverance lessons to be learned about people from the simple petunia? I think so.

  • Allow sufficient time for full development. People do not instantly mature either. Understanding and honoring different growth rates take perseverance.
  • Some people take constant care, others do not. Some people act like infants, wanting attention all the time. Others demand very little. However, everyone needs attention from time to time. Understanding how much, when and how requires perseverance.
  • There is a time for everything, watering, pruning and fertilizing. Proper care requires knowing when to do what is good for the plant. The same can be said about people. There are times that people just need to be heard and other times they need to listen, for example.

From Managing with Aloha (Chapter 4 preamble) by Rosa Say:

Anything worth having is worth working for. Persistence is often the defining quality between those who fail and those who succeed. There is never much satisfaction in giving up, and Ho‘omau is the value that will cause you to continue, to persevere in your efforts, and to perpetuate those that have worked well. Celebrate your strengths in the face of all adversity. The obstacles that test you can actually make you stronger. Ho‘omau. Persevere. Never give up. Cause the good in your life to last.