I spoke at a caregiver conference a few years ago, and after I had finished, some of the audience came up to chat with me.  One of them was an elderly man who waited patiently while holding a folded paper in his hands.  I learned that he was a retired minister who had given many presentations in his career, and one of them was the topic that he held in his hands titled, The Parable of the Pencil.  He could not recall where he had gotten it or who authored it but, based on my talk, he felt sure I could use it in future presentations.  Here it is …

The Pencil Maker took the Pencil aside just before putting Her in the pencil box.  “There are five things you need to know and must never forget, and you will become the best pencil you can be.”

One:   You will be able to do many great things, but only if you allow yourself to be held in someone’s hand.

Two: You will experience a painful sharpening from time to time, but you will need it to become a better pencil.

Three: You will be able to correct any mistakes you might make along the way.

Four:  The most important part of you will always be what’s inside.

Five:  On every surface you are used on, you must leave your mark.  No matter what the condition, you must continue to write.

The Pencil understood and promised to remember, and took her place in the box with purpose in her heart.

Now replace the Pencil with You

You will be able to do great things but only if you allow yourself to be held by a purpose greater than yourself and allow other human beings to access you for the unique gifts you possess.

You may experience painful problems and go through difficult times but these will help you become a stronger, more resourceful and resilient person.

You will be able to make amends and correct mistakes you might make in life.

What is inside – your spirit, your heart, your soul – will always be the most important part of you.

On every path and situation you walk through you must leave a mark and make your contribution using the special talents only you possess. 

Never allow yourself to become discouraged and think your life is insignificant; the world is regularly changed by one person with a brave heart, a good idea or a grateful spirit. Playing small will not serve the world – we are meant to shine and manifest our gifts to the world.