The Seed That Never Grew

Lessons in honesty

"This is such an inspiring story" - Publisher

A successful business man was growing old and knew it was time to choose a successor... take over the business. Instead of choosing one of his directors or his children, he decided to do something different.

He called all the young executives in his company together. He said, "It is time for me to step down and choose the next CEO. I have decided to choose one of you. "The young executives were shocked, but the boss continued." I am going to give each one of you a SEED today - one very special SEED. I want you to plant the seed, water it, and come back here one year from today with what you have grown from the seed I have given you. I will then judge the plants that you bring, and the one I choose will be the next CEO" One man, named Jim, was there that day and he, like the others, received a seed. He went home and excitedly, told his wife the story.

She helped him get a pot, soil and compost and he planted the seed. Every day, he would water it and watch to see if it had grown. After about three weeks, some of the other executives began to talk about their seeds and the plants that were beginning to grow. Jim kept checking his seed, but nothing ever grew. Three weeks, four weeks, five weeks went by, still nothing. By now, others were talking about their plants, but Jim didn't have a plant and he felt like a failure. Six months went by, still nothing in Jim's pot.

 Image: danreiland

Image: danreiland

He just knew he had killed his seed. Everyone else had trees and tall plants, but he had nothing. Jim didn't say anything to his colleagues, however. He just kept watering and fertilizing the soil - He so wanted the seed to grow. A year finally went by and all the young executives of the company brought their plants to the CEO for inspection. Jim told his wife that he wasn't going to take an empty pot. But she asked him to be honest about what happened.

Jim felt sick at his stomach, it was going to be the most embarrassing moment of his life, but he knew his wife was right. He took his empty pot to the board room. When Jim arrived, he was amazed at the variety of plants grown by the other executives. They were beautiful--in all shapes and sizes. Jim put his empty pot on the floor and many of his colleagues laughed, a few felt sorry for him!

When the CEO arrived, he surveyed the room and greeted his young executives. Jim just tried to hide in the back. "My, what great plants, trees, and flowers you have grown," said the CEO. "Today one of you will be appointed the next CEO!" All of a sudden, the CEO spotted Jim at the back of the room with his empty pot. He ordered the financial director to bring him to the front.

Jim was terrified. He thought, "The CEO knows I'm a failure. Maybe he will have me fired!" When Jim got to the front, the CEO asked him what had happened to his seed - Jim told him the story. The CEO asked everyone to sit down except Jim. He looked at Jim, and then announced to the young executives, "Behold your next Chief Executive! His name is Jim!"

Jim couldn't believe it. Jim couldn't even grow his seed. How could he be the new CEO the others said? Then the CEO said, "One year ago today, I gave everyone in this room a seed. I told you to take the seed, plant it, water it, and bring it back to me today. But I gave you all boiled seeds; they were dead - it was not possible for them to grow. All of you, except Jim, have brought me trees and plants and flowers.

When you found that the seed would not grow, you substituted another seed for the one I gave you. Jim was the only one with the courage and honesty to bring me a pot with my seed in it. Therefore, he is the one who will be the new Chief Executive!"

  • If you plant honesty, you will reap trust
  • If you plant goodness, you will reap friends
  • If you plant humility, you will reap greatness
  • If you plant perseverance, you will reap contentment
  • If you plant consideration, you will reap perspective
  • If you plant hard work, you will reap success
  • If you plant forgiveness, you will reap reconciliation
  • If you plant faith, you will reap a harvest So, be careful what you plant now; it will determine what you will reap later.

-- By muruga, posted Sep 6, 2009

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Friendship - A Celebration of Values By Gabriel Omin

It’s not hard to make decisions when you know what your values are.

— Roy Disney


I had a conversation with a good friend and mentor during my teenage years. In the course of the conversation I mentioned a name. I said “My friend John [1] was going to…”.  The mention of the person’s name hit him like an unsuspecting child who just got a jab of medical injection. He turned; fully facing me he asked, “Is John your friend?” I said, “no”. He retorted, “You just said he was”. I corrected myself. I told him John was my classmate.

I wondered how he knew John and he told me. There and then, I got the lecture of my life on friendship. It is something that has not left my mind since then.

He ended his discourse with these true words “Friendship is a celebration of values”. Those words echo in eternity. They continually ring in my ears and heart.

As such when you say a man is your friend, you have at the same time told us that you are comfortable with his virtues and values. You share something together, whatever it is. You could share a love for sports, or common political view. It could be the simple joy of collecting stamps, hoarding rare pieces of arts, sharing your faith, Star Wars fans etc. From my little experience, I have seen that your friends are most times people that share the dominant interest in your life.

Your friends are people you accept and you are willing to pursue life’s purposes together. “Can two walk together except they be agreed?” In other words, agreement in values.

 Photo: thejobnetwork

Photo: thejobnetwork

One vivid memory stands out in my existence. It was during the registration day at the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) camp. NYSC is a voluntary one-year service done by graduates in Nigeria. As we came together and assembled, a multitude was formed. Within about 30 minutes we started having pockets of people differentiating into various units. The smokers located themselves people, the football fans, the faith driven people, those from particular tribes, egalitarians, poets etc. People found ‘their people’. By the next day everyone knew where to locate ‘his/her person’. Their values attracted and bound them. This goes a long way to state the fact that VALUES EXUDE. It leaves your body like steam and forms a halo on your head. People of like-value only, can spot that halo! It’s an invisible but ‘tangible’ asset.

The need for friendship is very simple — to warm the heart, and most importantly sharpen each other. Iron is used to sharpen iron; not wood. Not clay. You get my drift.

 Photo: sanderssays

Photo: sanderssays

Friends encourage themselves by spoken words. These words are no ordinary words. They are common vocabularies that translate the message instantly and powerfully to them. They are value-based words that come from the heart, the treasure of the mind because out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks. Those words clothe the thoughts of the heart.

Looking for friends for friendship sake is like gathering stones of no value. When you build your value system, you will attract ‘your people’. When you have what the company wants they will at least give you a hearing aka interview. When the company thinks that you are a good fit, then you will be employed, because you have values that are shared and useful to both parties. Remember the word “symbiotic”. I first heard it in a Biology class and it has the same meaning today.

People are attracted to their kind. It is only in the magnetic world that opposite attracts, but in human relationship, we start with the philosophy that like attracts. You see, we are not magnets.

You are the average of your five best friends, someone posits.

Your friends are a reflection of your core values.

Your friends will either take you to your destination or hinder you from getting there.

Your friends enforce the values you uphold. This is done by your daily communion that is shared.

 Photo: manulifeplace

Photo: manulifeplace

As you can imagine, you talk most times about the things you share in common. You can live without siblings (most times by being the only child), but you cannot live without friends. And most importantly, friendship is by choice. Harper Lee succinctly puts it “You can choose your friends, but not your family”. This is your choice to make. In this choice, you are the President and Supreme Court all bundled up in one. What you decide stands. This is not the elections where your choice may stand assuming the majority go with your choice. In this matter, your choice is ABSOLUTE. It is what you want that will prevail. There is no technicality here.

Principles are the engine of life’s processes. You can’t go against a principle and expect no consequence. Thomas Edison and Henry Ford were friends because they wanted to churn out products that were usable and affordable to every American. Values unite people.

“Set your values and principles right, and the right people will traffic your life”. Your definition of ‘right’ is based on your value system.

In those one-on-one moments with yourself, especially on a long flight. After you have eaten, seen the first movie and are now bored (lol), you can take a few minutes to review your friendships. These four questions might help.

· Why are we together?

· What is the attraction?

· Why is he/she in my life?

· Where are we going?

This video by SULI BREAKS on friendship is one of the most powerful words on the subject. It is a 3minute video.

Hasta la vista.

Gabriel Omin.


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Learning from the Eagle - Bimbo Manuel, Renowned Actor & Writer

I was watching a short film on the life of an eagle. It was a transfixing piece. 
The Eagle, powerful bird, able to live up 75-80 years; at between its 35th to 40th year, it must renew itself or die, because it's feathers lose their oil and become fixed making flight difficult to take flight. It also loses speed.

 Photo: answersafrica

Photo: answersafrica

Its talons and beak, one of its greatest attributes and primary hunting tools, become old and crooked, and ineffective for grabbing and tearing. At this point the Eagle makes a painful critical decision to undergo renewal, a rebirth, a rejuvenation. 

It withdraws to its eyrie high up in the mountains, and begins the slow process. It sheds its feathers, becoming naked and waiting patiently, while fresh ones grow back. 
It sheds its talons to grow back new ones, and then strikes its beak against the rock repeatedly, till it comes off, a very painful process. 

A new beak grows back and soon the magnificent killer in the skies, the lion of the clouds soars again, stronger, more powerful, surer, keener, ready to live another 35 to 40 years. 

If only we take time to look, listen and learn, even the smallest things teach us lessons of life...not that the Eagle is a small bird, it is a very big bird that teaches a big lesson. Good morning.

- Bimbo Manuel
Actor & Writer


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Keys to Irresisible Favour -Dr. Temi Odejide

I felt I was running a small risk titling this article as I have; because favour is a word so often used in Christendom, that it is almost seen as a Christian word. It is not essentially a Christian word. Everybody needs favour!

 Photo: Chronicle

Photo: Chronicle

Discuss with any successful man or women at the pinnacle of their chosen profession, and you will find that all without exception at one point or another have been beneficiaries of one favour or another in their climb to notoriety. Someone opened a door? or a window! Someone put in a good word. Someone mentioned an opportunity and that was it. Favour is an essential indispensable ingredient for lasting success. The problem with favour is in its definition. Favour is unmerited and undeserved help. Some people call it a 'stroke of luck.' Favour therefore being unmerited, and often perceived as undeserved, becomes essentially unpredictable? or is it? I beg to differ to the common view of favour.

Favour is not a good luck charm that some have and some do not!

Favour is not nebulous karma. In my study of successful people, I have found that they have been great recipients of favour. Was this just luck, happenstance, coincidence or was this the result of certain practices that these success people engaged in?

I have come to believe that favour is available and accessible to everyone whatever you chosen field of endeavour. I believe that there are key practices that cause favour to present itself to you regularly!

Be Excellent

 ...I patronized a friend's carpentry shop and bought a chair and a table. When I got home I found out that the chair was actually a 'rocking chair' because the legs were not even. Two months down, the wood used for the began to show signs of termite infestation! Of course I won't be visiting shop again!

When I get what I paid for, on time, in top quality I will be back with others. It is that simple!

If I stumble on to a chance to make reference, it would be in favor of that less than excellent friend. I will recommend another excellent interior designs/carpentry expert down the road. You would then say that that person is favoured...

Be Positive

...You must believe that there is always a way forward. Years ago my father said something to me that stuck; he said, "Never let your first response be no. There is always a way" 

Don't always see how it will not work. See how it can work. 

Being positive entails being helpful. Give advice and counsel freely. Assist liberally

You might not be the one to help directly, but you might be able to direct the person to where he or she can get the needed help. You have to learn to be positively conversational...

 Be Generous

...This is just unbridled generosity. Well, whether you like it or not, the generous man is retained in the mind of the recipient of that generosity. In the day of favour, he will remember the giver. 

The stingy often starve in the midst of plenty. Whether right or wrong, I have noticed that the gateman is more ready to open the gate for the generous visitor than the visitor that does not realize that he even exists. Being generous is not really about having much.

If you can be generous with little, you will soon have more than enough to share.

 Ask for it

...If you have been living the lifestyle of the earlier three keys: You are excellent in your chosen field of endeavour, you have a consistently positive disposition, and you are all round generous, then when you ask for favours, you will almost always get it. 

Always ask for a discount. I have found that even millionaires always ask for a discount. Even if you are refused now, next time, they will feel a need to oblige you. How many favours have you missed simply by not asking. I have found that even five star Hotels that run a weekend rate of 50% discount may not give you the discount if you do not ask...


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Treasure House of Wisdom - Dr. Yomi Garnett

Letters From Okinawa

 Karl Taylor was an American warehouse worker, and his wife, Edith, a factory worker in Waltham, Massachusetts; a very devoted couple, they had been married for twenty three years. Whenever Karl’s job took him out of town, he would write Edith a long letter, accompanied by a gift, from wherever he was.

In January of 1949, Karl was posted to Okinawa to manage a US warehouse.

 Photo: Pintrest

Photo: Pintrest

Okinawa is Japan’s southernmost prefecture, consisting of a dozen few Islands which are also known as the Ryukyu Islands. Okinawa, stage of one of the bloodiest battles of the Second World War, when American troops invaded the Islands, remained under American administration until 1972.

As the months rolled by, Edith preoccupied herself by purchasing an unfinished picturesque cottage, and worked hard to complete it. It was going to be a surprise gift for Karl when he came back.

Karl’s letter writing became infrequent, and for some reason, he seemed to prefer a protraction of his overseas stay beyond the call of duty.

Finally, tragedy struck in the form of a letter from Okinawa:

“Dear Edith, I wish I could find a kinder way to break this news, but we are no longer married……”

Karl had applied to Mexico for a divorce, and had been granted his request by post. “……and Edith, I am sorry to inform you that I will soon get married to a Japanese girl over here. She is eighteen years old, and I love her very much. Please forgive me…”

Edith was forty eight years old, and she was shattered and grief-stricken. She had sufficient justification to be bitter, towards Karl and the Japanese girl, ‘Aiko’. Edith, instead, chose to make excuses for Karl’s conduct.

He had been lonely, and so far away from home, she tearfully rationalized.

She wasn’t convinced that the marriage would work, and Karl would soon come home.

She waited.

But Karl did not come home. His next letter announced that he and Aiko were expecting a baby. The girl, Marie, was born in 1951, followed closely by Helen’s arrival in 1953. Edith sent the little girls presents at their christening, and life went on.

Another letter arrived from Okinawa…Karl was dying from lung cancer. His medical expenses had wiped out his savings.

What would become of Aiko and the girls?

Edith decided the last gift she could possibly give her former husband was peace of mind. She offered to take the two children to live with her in.

In 1956, the little girls arrived in America, quickly adjusting to their new environment, and making Edith a very happy woman.


Aiko, all alone in Okinawa, was a very unhappy person. She would write pathetic letters to Edith. Were the girls doing well? Did they cry often?

Finally, Edith decided her love for Karl still demanded another price: She would have to bring the children’s mother to live with her in the United States.

 As the plane landed, Edith was suddenly gripped by fear.

“Help me, dear God, to love this poor girl, as if she were part of Karl. I prayed for Karl to come to me, now he has, in the form of his two little daughters and this poor, gentle girl that he loved. Help me God to love them as I loved Karl. Help me, God.”

She wept uncontrollably.

The last passenger to disembark was a thin, frail girl, looking no more than a child. She called out Aiko’s name, and the hapless girl rushed down the steps into Edith’s arms.

Edith and Aiko lived together, raising Karl’s two children.                                                *

This is a remarkable and story of selfless forgiveness. This is because the tale itself has traces of divinity in it.

One of the greatest lessons we can learn is how to forgive. Anger, hatred and resentment all set up barriers that deprive us of spiritual power. Truly, unforgiving and malevolent grudge is a cancer of the soul.

There will always be facts concealed from us, and known only to God, and that is why it is more appropriate to leave the judging to Him.

Secondly, you have to become a compassionate person. This remains a difficult thing to do when you are wronged, since the instinctive and primordially animalistic reaction is to fight back and inflict hurt when you think you are wronged.

Compassion actually involves putting yourself in another’s shoes.

Thirdly, you will need to creatively visualize the entire situation in terms of a reconciliatory attitude. This means actually and actively visualizing the fractured relationship as healed. Picture the poisons of anger and resentment vacating your system. Permit your imagination to run riot with images of what you will accomplish with a renewed, wholesome relationship with the person.

Fourthly, it is imperative that you realize that forgiving the person will be of greater benefit to you than to him.

Simply, by a conscious act of your will, refuse to hold a grudge against anyone. You cannot develop upper level personality if you allow yourself to collect and hold grievance of any sort. There is an amusing angle to holding grievance.  While you are preoccupied with your grudge against some people, they are out dancing and making merry, blissfully and totally oblivious of your negative feelings toward them.

Forgiveness is your key to the kingdom of inner peace. You will find, as is the case with most people, that it is the hardest, yet the most important thing you will ever do. The beauty of this cathartic process is that it will set you free from the past, and wonderfully free up your mind for divine creativity. Allow no man to belittle your soul by making you hate him. 

Forgiveness is the key to the kingdom of mental and spiritual development. When you become a totally forgiving person, you are emulating the character traits of some of the greatest men and women ever to walk on this earth, and in the process putting yourself on the side of the angels.

The regular practice of freely forgiving everyone for everything will make you a calmer, kinder and more compassionate being. Forgiveness ranks as the greatest spiritual act of love you could ever muster for yourself, and for others.


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The Meekness Secret - Dayo Olutayo




Leadership is simple influence. Everyone possesses its seed. When God made man, he empowered him to have dominion over all creation, to subdue the earth, and to replenish it. That means at creation, God put a seed of leadership in everyman and training is relevant to stir up that seed and make it fruitful.

Learning never ends until life ends. When a man stops learning, he has began to die. In the school of life, there are no graduates, there are only promotions. You move from one step forward, and you keep moving until your last day on earth. Solomon was the wisest man that ever lived, but he learned from ants. He said “…go to the ants, you sluggard, observe his ways, and be wise...”  

To a learner, every place is a school, everything is a teacher and everyday is a learning day.

Reading a book can change your destiny, and listening to a tape can change your story. I read about Richard Branson, who got hold of a timely book when he was struggling with life. It was titled ‘Small Is Beautiful’. He found his fortune; a principle on how to divide his business into small bits, and put managers over them. Only God knows where the professor who wrote that book is. He probably didn’t use those principles. There are things that God has set in places, waiting to be discovered.

A wise man will hear, and increase in learning.

One key that will help in learning is meekness. All men of excellence are meek. You can’t learn beyond the level of your meekness.

Meekness simply means ‘teachable-ness’. It means readiness to accept corrections. There are people who are not teachable and cannot be corrected because they know everything.

Meekness is the heart of a learner. It is humility, and sobriety in thinking.  

Don’t look down on people, only God sits that high.



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