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Search for Truth

What The

One day my neighbor called to say a woman who lives down the street was taking oranges off the trees in front of my apartment building. I am friendly with the woman and have encouraged her to pick them, so I was not upset—until I learned that in the process of gathering the fruit she had crushed many of the flowers I’d planted below. I went downstairs to find several broken plants.

Later in the week, the woman stopped me on the street. Before I could share my disappointment in finding so many crushed flowers, she spoke up.

“My five-year-old granddaughter insisted we take all the oranges I could reach. I lost my balance and stepped on your flowers. I am so sorry. I also want you to know the oranges were not for us. Every time my granddaughter visits me, she goes through my refrigerator for leftovers and my purse for loose change. Then we walk up the street and she gives them to the homeless man who sits in front of Peet’s coffee shop. That day she wanted as many oranges as possible to give to him, too.”

It took about three weeks for most of the flowers to recover. There was one bald patch. I thought of getting a few more plants to fill it in but decided against it. The spot served to remind me of the loving behavior of the young girl and that it is best not to jump to conclusions because others’ actions are not necessarily what they might seem.

To create deep relationships, avoid problems, and make life easier, we accept it is not responsible to jump to conclusions based on hearsay or prejudicial fear. Instead of buying into negativity or opinion, we care enough about ourselves and others to search for truth.