Dec. 2, 2017 – Today’s Gift from Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

Saturday, Dec. 2, 2017

Today’s thought from the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is:

Self-esteem comes from doing esteemable acts

I once had a beautiful plant. It sat on my dining room table for three weeks as I waited for it to blossom. Each week, I waited for something to happen. By week three, instead of a luscious blooming bush, what revealed itself was a dry, shriveled piece of nothing.

I stormed angrily into the florist’s shop and demanded an explanation for why my plant had died. Puzzled, yet relatively calm, the florist asked, “Did you do everything, I told you to do?”

“Absolutely! I waited for three weeks just like you said. I just waited, and now my plant is dead.”

Scratching his head in wonderment, he asked, “Did you also water the plant every three days? Did you feed it the plant food I gave you? Did you keep it out of direct sunlight? Tell me, what did you do?”

“I didn’t water it, because it didn’t look like it needed it. I lost the food you gave me, and I didn’t have time to get more. And I thought you said to keep it in direct sunlight. I waited for three weeks before calling you because I figured it would be okay, I thought if I let go and let God, the plant would eventually bloom.”

How easy it is to mistakenly believe that “let go and let God,” means to sit back and do nothing. Our words may not speak it, but our behavior says, “If we just wait, God will provide and good things will happen without our having to do anything.”

When we’re disrespectful of others, it is easy to think that our behavior is an indication of power and self-esteem. On the contrary, it suggests that we care little about ourselves, because we care little about others, For years, I had many excuses for bad behavior: My behavior at the florist’s shop was inappropriate. That was no way to speak to anyone. Eventually I went back and made amends for how I spoke to the florist. Self-esteem comes from doing esteemable acts.

You are reading from the book:

52 Weeks of Esteemable Acts by Francine Ward

52 Weeks of Esteemable Acts © 2005 by Francine Ward

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