Every child wants to have friends and be part of a group.
With our guiding principles, we should play a role in educating our Grands on the principles of friendship, so they can choose the right friends and groups and avoid the fickle, fake, backstabbers and poor role models.
Teaching grandchildren through storytelling is my manner of imparting a message. I choose to tell my olive tree story by using the tree as a symbol and guide of what characteristics to look for in a group.
The Olive Tree Story
When I moved to California, dear Grands, I was aghast at the unattractiveness of the hundreds of olive trees lining the streets of Rancho Mirage. They were ugly and scary looking and their trunks looked as though they were a million years old.
Being a curious grandmother — I hope you will be curious, too — I Googled the words “olive tree.” I wanted to learn about the tree before passing final judgment, something you should do when you choose a group of friends because the group will have a powerful influence on your attitude, reputation and the direction you take in your life.
I was in for a wonderful surprise, dear Grands. (See what happens when you are curious?) It turns out there was much more to the olive tree than one could see at first glance.
More About the Olive Tree
The olive tree is mentioned several times in the Bible. It was the first tree that sprouted up 7,000 years ago in the warm regions of the Old World, the Middle East, and its lifespan is 2,000 years.
Because of my research and curiosity, my viewpoint was changing. I now saw the tree as ‘Godlike,’ even going so far as calling them ‘God’s first tree.’ I was having a 100% change of heart.
I continued reading and learned even more…
The olive tree became a ‘best friend’ to all in the Middle East because she was caring and giving. She became revered for bearing her olives for nourishment and sharing the oils in her olives to light the sacred lamps, as well as to be used in cooking, ointments and even skin products.
She shaded her people, during warm weather, with her outlay of branched leaves. Her trunk was used for wood making and building homes. She provided income for families from the sale of her olives and wood.
The ancient Greeks smeared the oil from the olive over their bodies for good health. The olive tree has a history of ‘sharing herself’ with the world. She is ‘beauty in the eye of the beholder’ because of her inner being.
The olive tree is mentioned more than 30 times in both the Old and New Testaments. It was the first tree native to the warm regions of the Old World where it first appeared 7,000 years ago! Its life spans over 2,000 years.
I Did My Homework
I decided to learn about the tree, dear Grands. I did my homework.
To my amazement, I fell in love with the gnarled Biblical olive tree, so much in love that I planted one outside my doors leading from my little office, which I call ‘a room of my own.’
Every day I look at her, smile, and am happy. When I see my olive tree each day I think of God. My tree has come to be majestically beautiful with her sturdy trunk. She has earned her place in my heart. She is my favorite tree!
This, dear Grands, is the message: Before you decide on joining a group, compare the people in the group to the Olive tree. Ability to share, be considerate, be helpful, be kind, and be productive are all values to look for before hitching your star to any friend or group.
Beauty Comes From Within
A tree does not have to be physically beautiful to be worthy. Beauty comes from within.
Compare people you know to the olive tree, as we know that beauty comes from within.
The olive tree shares her food, her oil, her wood and her leaves to shade others. She is not beautiful at first glance, but when you get to know her you realize she is a GIVING TREE. That is a value you look for in a friend!
Do something GOOD today: Be an olive tree! Share your talents, your wisdom and your love for others.
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P.S. Stay tuned for my book coming out in February. Here’s a hint: it’s all about being a grandmother and it’s all about you! More details to come soon.