A wise man wanted to teach his four kids the fallacy of judging things too quickly and decides to send them on a journey, one after the other, to a distant tree. Each youngster was sent in a different season. At the end of the year, he brought his kids together and asked them what they’d seen.
The youngster who’d travelled in winter described a snow-clad tree at peace with its surroundings, sparkling white against the beautiful landscape.
The one who went in spring disagreed. “No,” she said, “the tree seemed full of hope and promise, with green buds along its branches.”
The third one, who’d travelled in summer, disagreed once more. The tree he’d seen was covered in beautiful blossoms that looked and smelled divine.
The fourth one, who’d travelled in fall, disagreed again, describing a tree laden with stunning hues of orange and yellow, unlike anything she had seen.
When each youngster had spoken, the father said they were all correct because they’d only seen but one season of the tree’s life. However, the essence of any entity can only be measured as a whole over a period of time from the varying eyes of many. To make our judgment without experiencing all the seasons is to miss the peace of winter, the promise of spring, the vitality of summer, or the colours of fall.
A healthy institution is one that spreads fragrance, in equal measure, to its constituents through each season of its journey – be it competitive compensation and work-life balance in good times, vibrant and non-political culture in stable times, and fair opportunities and job security in tough times!