Every child or young adult wants to have friends and be part of a tight-knit group.
With our guiding principles, we should play a role in educating our grandchildren on the principles of friendship. This will help them 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 of friends. This is the story:
The Olive Tree Story
When I moved to California years ago, 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 woman — I hope you will be curious, too — I Googled the words “Olive Tree.” I wanted to learn about the trees before passing final judgment, something you should do when you choose a group of friends. Why? Because the group will have a powerful influence on your attitude, reputation, and the direction you take in your life.
In For a Surprise
I was in for a wonderful surprise, dear reader. It turns out there was much more to the Olive Tree than one could see at first glance.
The Olive Tree is mentioned more than 30 times in both the Old and New Testaments of 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 life span is 2,000 years.
Because of my research and curiosity, my viewpoint was changing. I now saw the tree as ‘God-like,’ even going so far as calling them ‘God’s first tree.’ I was having a 100% change of heart.
I continued reading and learned more…
The Giving Olive Tree
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.
I Did My Homework
Since I had done my homework and learned the Tree’s history, my opinion changed. To my amazement, I fell in love with the gnarled Biblical Olive Tree. So much so that I planted one outside my doors leading from my little office (that I call a ‘room of my own.’) It is a Dwarf Olive because of space. Every day I look at her, smile, and I 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!
The Message of this Story – Be an Olive Tree
This is the message for your grandchildren:
Before you decide on joining a group of friends, compare the people in the group to the Olive Tree. Are they sharing, considerate, helpful, kind, and productive?
A tree does not have to be physically beautiful to be worthy. Beauty comes from within. If a person shares their life, their love, their generosity, time, and care, they will most likely be worth your time and energy. Of course, you must do the same. We all must be like the Olive Tree when it comes to our relationships.
Do Something Good Today
All-in-all, I love that an 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 and in yourself.
Don’t forget, though I’m talking about teaching our grands how to choose friends, this story also applies to us adults choosing friends and friend groups. If you are having difficulty finding your Olive Tree’s, please consider joining my private Facebook Group, GRANDwomen with Moxie.
Finally, darling, do Something GOOD Today: Be an Olive Tree! Share your talents, your wisdom, and your love with others. I am smiling!
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