Self Help Daily’s Thursday Throwbacks look at great articles, books, quotes, and teachings from the distant past. Just because these great writings have a little dust on them doesn’t mean they don’t have a great deal to teach us. In fact, I’ve personally be impacted the most by older writings (certainly including the oldest one of all, the Bible!) This is why I collect old books and magazines – the inspiring, motivating, and educating lessons waiting inside these books are like gold waiting inside wooden boxes.
I love to take one off the shelf, find a great place to kick back (coffee nearby, of course) and soak up my lesson.
The following article, written by Dr. Maxwell Maltz – author of “Doctor Pygmallion” – recently accompanied me to our front yard. I read the beautiful words as a choir of cardinals provided the soundtrack.
Coffee, a great book, a busy bird feeder, and sleeping cats at my feet (too fat, old, and/or lazy to even acknowledge the birds) – the stage was set for one blissful hour. This article really struck me as something special, so I thought I’d share it with you.
LOOK INSIDE THE HUSK
by Dr. Maxwell Maltz
“And what is a weed? A plant whose virtues have not been discovered.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
When did these splendid words occur to Emerson? Perhaps one day when the harvest was ready to be gathered home and the bright fields rippled in the wind, wheat for the winter’s bread. For, ages ago, wheat was thought to be a weed, useless to mankind.
Perhaps on that day, looking at the ripe bronze fields, Emerson was returning from a visit to his friend the teacher Bronson Alcott – that tireless, undefeatable, unquenchable man – and paused to reflect on Alcott’s stubborn insistence that it was never the “bad boy” or the dullard who was to blame but those who lacked the patience and the care to probe beneath the surface for what was good, however unpromising or unfriendly the surface might be. There were no “weeds” in Bronson Alcott’s schoolroom.
So many times, in clinic and hospital ward, have I seen the apparently hopeless misfit transformed into a hopeful and helpful person – a giver, not a taker – by the simplest display of interest and belief in him. It always makes me wonder how many good citizens, creators and builders, and contributors to our common health as a nation, have been lost because someone, somewhere, was misled by the husk and did not see the golden grain within.
I suppose it comes down to this: Our first “must” for everyday should be to pause before passing judgment, remembering that the apparently useless weed in the dirt of the roadside, with care and cultivation, provide tomorrow’s bread. – Dr. Maxwell Maltz