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In our last +1, we continued our conversation about The Law of Cause and Effect by inviting Jesus to the party to share his thoughts.
As you may recall, he told us that we can’t expect to grow grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles.
In other words: If we want a noble, virtuous life, we must do noble, virtuous things.
It’s not possible for me to think about figs without thinking aboutanother ancient wise man who happens to be my all-time favorite teacher, the great Stoic philosopher Epictetus.
Epictetus was born (into slavery!) in what is now Turkey in the year 50 AD—not too long after or far away from where Jesus taught.
Epictetus reminds us that, even if we’re doing it right and growing figs on a fig tree, we’ve gotta know that IT TAKES TIME for those trees to bear fruit.
As we discussed in an old-school +1 on Horticultural Time vs. Clock Time: When you want to grow something and you plant a seed, do you start your stopwatch and then go into your backyard an hour later to dig it up to see how it’s doing? Or, do you know it takes some time for that seed to germinate and then sprout and then grow and finally to reach its fruit-bearing stage?
Of course, we honor the rules of horticultural time and give that little seed the time it needs to naturally move through its required stages of development.
Which is one of the reasons whyEpictetus told us that:“Nogreat thing is created suddenly, any more than a bunch of grapes or a fig. If you tell me that you desire a fig, I answer you that there must be time. Let it first blossom, then bear fruit, then ripen.”
Our Heroic optimizing occurs on HORTICULTURAL time, notclocktime.
Let’s sow the seeds of virtue.
Let’s tend them wisely.
And, let’s give them time to blossom, bear fruit, and ripen.