This morning, I noticed that my three-year-old son Nathaniel has kept himself busy doing something. He was sketching a pear-like shaped object on a piece of paper using a pencil. I asked him what was that particular object he was drawing about and he answered, “A glass.” Then he populated it with as-many-as-he-could draw short irregular lines and curves. I asked him again, “What are these lines for, son?” This time he took a very short pause, looked me straight in the eyes, and said, “These are waters.”
Watching my son holding a pencil in his hand was a great sight to me. It reminds me of an article I came across with several years ago about the important life lessons people could learn from a humble pencil. Allow me then to share it here, in case you, who happened to read it before, had already forgotten and for those who will be reading it for the first time:
The pencil maker took the pencil aside, just before putting it into the box. “There are five things you need to know before I send you out into the world,” he said. “Always remember these five things, and you’ll be a great pencil.”
YOU ARE CAPABLE OF DOING MANY GREAT THINGS
Yes, you can do many great things but only if you allow yourself to be held in someone’s hand. This means you had to find someone who will handle you for what you’re purposed at. Without direction, purpose, and inspiration, a pencil will be just a piece of wood.
YOU WILL EXPERIENCE A PAINFUL SHARPENING FROM TIME TO TIME
Yes, you will need to undergo such a painful process so you’ll become a better pencil each time. Without it, you can be dull, ineffective, and unwanted. It will shape you to what you should be at your very best.
YOU HAVE THE ABILITY TO CORRECT THE MISTAKES YOU MAKE
That’s why a pencil has an eraser. Life is not yet final. There’s always a way to make things better and to try improving one’s own. When you failed at one thing, try again. If you again failed at that, find out why and if there’s something you can do about it. Mistakes, disappointments, and failures are a part of life. If you can make a difference, do it. If you can correct a mistake, do it.
THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF YOU IS WHAT’S INSIDE YOU
When you’re beautiful within, then you’re truly a beautiful soul. But if you’re only beautiful from the outside, then people may still find out if you’re beautiful from the inside, too. How valuable your substance are, as a person, is more important than what you can offer superficially.
LEAVING A MARK
On every surface where you are used, regardless of its condition, you must leave your mark. Your good works and deeds will be immortalized by the people whose lives you were able to impact upon.