A man had four sons. He sent each on a quest, to go in turn and look at a pear tree growing in front of a place of worship far away.

The first son went in the winter, the second in the spring, the third in summer, and the youngest in autumn.
When they had all gone and come back, he called them together to describe what they had seen.
The first son said the pear tree was ugly, bent and twisted.

The second son disagreed, insisting it was covered with green buds and full of promise.
The third son denied this, saying it was laden with blossoms that smelled so sweet and looked so beautiful, it was the most graceful thing he had ever seen.

The youngest son said they were all wrong. The tree was ripe and drooping with fruit, full of life and fulfillment, he asserted.

The wise man then reassured his sons they were all right, because they had each seen but one season in the tree’s life.

“You cannot judge a tree, or a person for that matter, by only one season. The essence of who they are — and the pleasure, joy and love that come from that life — can only be measured at the end, when all the seasons are past,” he explained.

If you give up when it’s winter, you will miss the promise of your spring, the beauty of your summer, the fulfillment of your autumn.

Don’t judge a life by one difficult season. Don’t let the pain of one season destroy the joy of the rest.
— the harbinger