I made my first grass head when I was four. I stuck on the googly eyes and shaped a red pipe cleaner into a curvy smile. Proud of my work, I placed my finished piece on the sun-lit window, watered it, and waited expectantly for the grass to grow from the seeds I had planted.

I waited two hours, maybe three. “When is it going to grow?” I complained to my mother. “I wish it would grow as soon as I tell it to!”

“Growth isn’t instant, “my mother explained. “In order to grow, a plant needs to be cared for with the proper amount of water and warmth. Look at all those trees and flowers outside. None of that grew overnight!”

The same is true when it comes to spiritual growth. Character development doesn’t happen in a vacuum, and it certainly doesn’t happen overnight. Telling others how to behave or demanding something from them doesn’t necessarily cause growth; but with the right amount of love, care and time, growth is possible.

Thoughtstream: Today, I will remember to impart my message in a warm, loving manner, remembering that it takes time for the message to sink in.

(Adapted from Torat Menachem 5749, vol. II, pg. 244.)