Home Articles Channels Daily Retreat Inspiration Classroom Boutique Community Singles Resources Contact

SoulfulLiving.com :: Personal Growth, Spiritual Growth, Self Help and Self Improvement

Your #1 Online Resource for Personal and Spiritual Growth Since 2000.
Mandala and Chakra Pendants
New Age Gifts and Products, Buddhist and Tibetan Jewelry, Meditation and Yoga Supplies
Mandala Art Prints



Our Sponsors:

The Mandala Collection :: Buddhist and Conscious Living Gifts
Inspirational Gifts

Energy Muse Jewelry
Energy Muse Jewelry

Body of Grace
Eco-Friendly Gifts

Yoga Download
Yoga Download

The Mandala Collection
Give a Gift with Soul

Ken Warzybok

The Fruit of Life... And the Rind
by Ken Warzybok

Once upon a time (don't you love stories that begin like that?) there was a watermelon farmer in a rural community in the Deep South. This watermelon farmer was very proud of his livelihood and used to boast that his watermelons were the finest in all the land. Indeed, at the county fairs, his watermelons consistently won 2nd and 3rd place awards, while the 1st place award had somehow eluded him year after year.

One day the farmer's nephew, who happened to be a botanist, let the farmer in on secret. "Pour milk into the soil every day," his nephew said. "And your watermelons will grow to be enormous."

"Really?" the farmer asked.

"Yes, Uncle," replied the botanist. "But you must keep this a secret, otherwise everyone in the county will be pouring milk on their watermelons next year." The farmer agreed that he would keep this secret to himself and not even share it with his family.

So every morning, before his family awoke, the farmer would sneak into the field and pour milk into the soil surrounding one of his watermelons.

By the end of the growing season, the farmer was amazed at the size of this one particular watermelon. Surely, this one would win him first prize at the upcoming county fair.

At the county fair, the people of the community flocked around the watermelon exhibit and gazed in awe at the enormous watermelon that the farmer entered in the contest.

Now, the watermelons were to be judged on shape, taste, and of course, size. Obviously, the farmer's watermelon drew high marks on shape and size. Everyone was prepared to congratulate him, and he was prepared to accept his first place award as the judges cut into his watermelon. It was then that the farmer, along with the judges and the people of the community, saw that the watermelon was over two-thirds rind. You see, the calcium in the milk that the farmer put in the soil had caused the rind of the watermelon to grow to enormous proportions, leaving very little room for the fruit of the watermelon to develop. The watermelon got the benefits of the milk, but had no other source of nourishment.

What this watermelon proved is that what you see isn't always what you get. In a lot of ways, our lives are like a milk-fed watermelon. (Now there's a statement you don't read everyday!)

Too often in life, we develop ourselves outwardly, leaving very little of real substance to grow under the surface. Think of how much time we spend picking out the right clothes, buying the most expensive houses and cars, living up to the standards of other people and extending our credit beyond its limits only to keep up with the Joneses.

Now, how much time do we devote to prayer, feeding the homeless, visiting the lonely, and helping others in general?

The fruit of our lives, the soul, is often stunted by our lack of cultivating it. You see, the soul is nurtured only by love, but the soul needs to get its love from more than one source. Loving the people you already love, like family and friends, is easy. However, loving people you don't know or don't particularly like is far more difficult, but so much more rewarding.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that you should run out and hug the jerk that cuts you off in traffic, or to blow kisses at an abusive boss. But you can wear your love like a cloak and reach out to people in many little and unique ways.

Here are some fun things to do:  Buy an instant lottery ticket (you know, the scratch-off kind) and hand it to the first stranger you see. Or the next time you are in line at a supermarket, insist that the person behind you go first. Or if you are getting a traffic ticket, tell the police officer, "Thank You" and "Have a nice day". (I actually did this once, and the officer reduced the charges later because I was so cooperative!) Or at a sporting event, offer to trade seats with the person sitting behind you. These people will all look at you as if you have lost your mind, but I guarantee that you will actually feel your soul growing in love. Their reaction is actually a tribute to your indiscriminate love. It is really saying "I wish I had the guts to do that for someone." Selflessness produces its own reward.

In each of these scenarios, being exceptionally nice does not really inconvenience you or change the situation all that much. So you leave the supermarket 2 or 3 minutes later...Big Deal! So you were courteous to an officer who caught you breaking a traffic law...So What? So you sit one seat further from the field...Who Cares? So you spent a buck for a stranger...you gave someone the gift of hope and the excitement of the unknown.

Believe me, the feeling it gives your soul is priceless. It cannot be found in a pill or a bottle, but it is greater than any "high" in the world. As an added bonus, its residual effects can carry over time and time again, especially if it inspires someone to do something nice for someone else.

And one day, you will get to look within yourself and see more substance and less rind!

© Copyright 2002 Ken Warzybok.  All Rights Reserved.

Ken Warzybok lives in a suburban Detroit community with his wife and son and two cats. Ken has worked in the broadcast communications/advertising field for over 20 years, and currently performs audio editing and mixing on numerous commercials airing nationwide. In his spare time, Ken enjoys riding motorcycles and writing essays about his observations of human beings interacting with one another and how these observations have developed his own philosophy about life. Writing is Ken's hobby and "a cheap form of therapy" for him. He is currently completing his own book of essays and hopes to have it available in 2003.



Daily Soul Retreat at SoulfulLiving.com
Soul Retreat Goodies!

Support SoulfulLiving.com
Show Us Your Love ♥


Energy Muse Jewelry
Energy Muse Jewelry

Wild Divine Meditation Software featuring Deepak Chopra
Meditation Software

Energy Muse - Sacred Yoga Jewelry

Copyright © 1999-2014 Soulful Living®.

Soulful Website Design by The Creative Soul®.