Aman had four sons. As they grew old enough to be sent off for acquiring knowledge in distant lands, the father thought the time was ripe to teach them one fil lesson at home. So he sent them each on a quest, in turn, to go and look at a pear tree that grew at his ancestral plot a considerable distance away.
The first son went in winter, the second in spring, the third in summer, and the youngest son when it was autumn.
When they had all gone and come back, the father called them together to describe what they had seen.
The first son said the tree was bare with its bark peeling, ugly and twisted.
The second son contested this, saying it was covered with green shoots and buds, full of promise.
Hearing this, the third son shook his head; he said it was laden with blossoms that smelled sweet and looked beautiful, and surely the tree was the most glorious thing he had ever seen.
The youngest son disagreed with all of them; he said the tree was ripe and drooping with fruit, full of life and fulfillment.
The father then explained to his sons that they were all right, because they had each seen but only one season in the tree’s life.
“You cannot therefore judge a tree, or a person, by only one season. The essence of who they are and the pleasure, love and worthiness that come from that life, can only be measured at the end, when all the seasons are up,” the father said.
The same principle is true of each one’s life, and whatever is experienced in it. If he gives up when it is winter as the earth slumbers to recoup its strength, he will miss the promise of spring, the full growth and beauty of summer, and the mellow fulfillment that comes in autumn.