Believing in Friendship

Stories are a wonderful way to make a point.   Children and adults alike can relate to stories, and as a parent I find that I am always looking for ways to teach my kids about resilience and such things.

Have you heard of the story of the Tiny Green Frog before?

I did not write this cute little story, but I’d like to be able to write stories like it one day.  I found it very meaningful,  I haven’t been able to find it online again to see who the author is!  I will continue to look though.

Once upon a time, there was a group of tiny frogs who arranged a competition. The goal was to reach the top of a tower. A huge crowd of frogs gathered to watch the race and cheer on the contestants.

The race began.

Not one frog in the audience believed that the contestants would reach the top. After all, it was a HUGE tower!

The crowd grew and many yelled,
“Oh, that is WAY too difficult!!’
“They will NEVER make it to the top.”
“Not a chance they will succeed. The tower is too high!”

One by one, the tiny frogs collapsed and fell off the tower. Still, there was a group of determined frogs that climbed higher and higher.
But the crowd continued to yell,
“It is too difficult!!! No one will make it!”

Discouraged and convinced by the negative cries, more of these tiny frogs collapsed and fell off the tower. Many frogs who were still climbing complained of the pain and eventually gave up. Some frogs, tired and battered, heard their peers’ complaints and subsequently threw in the towel too.

In the midst of this, ONE tiny frog persisted.
He climbed. And he climbed. And he climbed.
This tiny frog seemed to have super-frog strength that allowed him to push forward in spite of others failing. Why, though? Why is he able to climb so far when others are failing, the crowd wondered?

By now, all the tiny frogs had either collapsed or given up — except for that one tiny frog.

The crowd continued to yell, now at the tiny frog,
“This is too difficult!!’
“You will NEVER make it to the top!!”
“You better give up now while you can!!!”
But for some reason, that tiny frog climbed further, seemingly undaunted, unaffected.
Finally, he reached the top of the hill. He had reached his destination!!!

All the tiny frogs were amazed as to how this one frog was able to make it to the top. They crowded around him, wanting to know his secret.

The secret to the success of this little frog was that he was deaf.

It’s amazing what we can do when we don’t listen to the negativity coming from the people around us.   When we believe we are travelling in the right direction, or doing the right things in our lives, sometimes the people in our cheer squad are anything but cheering.

“No you cannot do this!”
“No it is not possible!”
“HAH, are you crazy?? You are never going to succeed.”
“You’re too young for this.”
“You’re too old for this.”
“You are not good enough.”

Imagine the naysayers after Thomas Edison failed a few times, when he was trying to make the light bulb work?

The natural reaction when dealing with naysayers or critics is to be upset. We beat ourselves up and wonder if something is wrong with us. Subsequently, some give up. Some persist in their ambition to succeed.

Thomas Edison kept going, and eventually after 1000 tries, he got it.  We can’t imagine life without the light bulb!

As a homeschooling mum, I have realised that learning happens not just in the successes, but also in the failures.  Learning to not do something in a particular way is just as important as to why its important to do things in a particular way.    Learning happens around us all every single day.   It’s up to us as to what we want to learn.

I have also learned that there will always be the naysayers, the negative critics, the complainers in our lives.   I am learning to turn a deaf ear.    After all, empty vessels make the most noise!!!

Four years ago, when I started the home schooling journey, a few friends openly told me that I was crazy, and that it was going to end in tears.   Now don’t get me wrong, there needs to be honesty in friendship.   There needs to be a safe place for discussion, and I don’t mind being challenged, but there is a big difference between a friend kindly challenging and a friend communicating that it was going to all end in tears!

I had made the decision at the time that I would take the first year and see how that went.   First year was a shocker, but we still did very well, so I decided to change distance education schools, and give it another year.   Best decision ever!!  This year is our 4th year.   I am no longer a newby to the homeschooling world.   I don’t take on more than what I can chew, I have learned lots of skills relating to teaching the kids and curriculum writing, I am able to help equip other mums in the homeschooling field.

These days, I have selective hearing when people tell me I’m crazy.  I am okay with walking a different path to others.  Being different isn’t anything but different.   I don’t listen to unconstructive feedback and to those who have put me in the too hard basket – we probably aren’t meant to be friends anyway.   I don’t hold grudges, I want to be friendly with everyone, and will show kindness to whomever I come across.

Friends will come and go in life, sometimes friends are seasonal, but there are some friends who are in it for the long game.   I am apart of a group of really wonderful women who I have been friends with since I moved up to the Coast 22 years ago.     Our lives have all changed in so many ways and forms over the years, but they are true friends.   They are positive, loving, happy, honest, warm, optimistic and relatable.   What you see is what you get!  Exactly my kind of people.

I found this meme by Elizabeth Foley and just had to share it…..

To live our best life, we need to associate ourselves with people that show themselves worthy to be in our inner circle.   There are many levels to the inner circle. Friendships take time and energy, and friends can move between the many layers of the trust circle.   There is a give and take element to friendship, believing the best in each other, and a lot of love for one another. Friendship is about finding people who get you and have your back – and you have theirs!

Have a great weekend, and look for ways to have time with friends.