There once was a boy who was surrounded by idiots. The driver could not never get to the destination on time, causing him to run late. The laundromat couldn’t wash the clothes well; the colors grew dull. The woman who sneezed on the train gave him a cold. Why didn’t the meteorologist accurately predict the rain? Now, thanks to him, the boy was soaked. These shoes really made his feet hurt; why would somebody sell such a shitty product? Why does every light have to turn red when he’s in a taxi? The cab driver is definitely going too slow. Why did his Mom always call him when he was in a meeting? Why is the waiter taking so long to bring his order? The service is terrible.
The boy grew tired of being surrounded such “incompetence,” as he put it. He drove off into the sunset.
As the boy was driving down the countryside solo, his car broke down. Of course, after blaming the roads and the manufacturer, he wandered off in search for help. He came across a farmer. Seeing that it wasn’t feasible to find help at this hour, the farmer immediately invited him to stay the night. With no other option, the boy acceded to the farmer’s invite. The next morning, the boy arose early, only to find that the farmer had already started to work. He walked over and saw him picking some luscious, plump, red tomatoes off the vine. The farmer looked at him and said, “well, what are you waiting for? Lend me a hand, will ya?”
With that, the boy began to help the farmer. Hours grew into days and days into weeks. The boy continued to help the farmer, enjoying his new country life. The farmer and the boy became friends. The boy shared the story of how everyone in the city couldn’t do anything correctly and how they were always making his life harder. The farmer just smiled and nodded.
Finally, one day, as he was picking tomatoes off the vine, he looked at the tomatoes. They were all frail, warped, pale and frankly, quite ugly. This time, the boy could not blame the farmer. He had planted these tomatoes himself. Instead, he wondered what else could be wrong… was it the soil? Had it rained too much? Do the tomatoes need more sun? Or maybe more shade? So he planted the seeds again. He added more compost. He ensured they were irrigated properly. He shaded them during the sweltering heat. Next harvest, his tomatoes were so juicy and luscious, that when split open, the tomatoes sweetened the air around them.
The farmer saw the entire process, from seed to harvest, walked up to him, smiling and said, “When your tomato wasn’t as you expected, you did not blame the tomato and leave the farm. Instead, you tried to understand why your tomato didn’t grow that way, you nurtured it, you tried different strategies and finally, you ended up with something that exceeded your expectations. Yet, if you have problems with work, your family, your friends, you blame the other person. Perhaps if you tried to understand them and take care of them, they will grow well and exceed your expectations, just like the tomato.
The boy understood. Soon after, he bid the farmer good-bye, promising to visit each year during the tomato harvest. After all, who can say no to such a luscious tomato?