Byron's Babbles

Hidden In Common Firewood

Posted in Bob Tiede, Educational Leadership, Global Leadership, Inspirational, Leadership by Dr. Byron L. Ernest on October 3, 2020

“There is a legend of an artist who long sought for a piece of sandalwood, out of which to carve a Madonna. He was about to give up in despair, leaving the vision of his life unrealized, when in a dream he was bidden to carve his Madonna from a block of oak wood which was destined for the fire. He obeyed and produced a masterpiece from a log of common firewood. Many of us lose great opportunities in life by waiting to find sandalwood for our carvings, when they really lie hidden in the common logs that we burn.” ~ Orison Swett Marden

During my morning study time I came across this passage from Orison Swett Marden. There is a lot to unpack in this short paragraph. Then I thought about the value of this as a prompt. So, instead rambling on with my thoughts, I’m going to employ a best practice from my friend and great author, Bob Tiede: ask you all a question. What lesson do you take away from this Orison Swett Marden passage that you want others to think about and act on?Please add your answer as a comment to this post.


2 Responses

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  1. Joel Boehner said, on October 4, 2020 at 1:05 pm

    So much going on here. Fascinating story. It would seem that our most important masterpieces are written/carved in an ephemeral media no more immortal than ourselves. Good bye Plato. Hello Zen.


  2. Cherry Reynolds said, on October 5, 2020 at 9:20 pm

    What if, as teachers, we followed the artist’s example and treated students as a piece of common firewood instead of wishing for sandalwood? Imagine what we can get out of a student who is hungry to learn but is often overlooked due to behaviors or scores deemed “low” by district standards. “He can’t do that, he’s not smart enough.” Phrases I’ve heard uttered countless times. Students who have been left behind. Minds that haven’t been tapped or challenged.

    It takes approximately 150 years before oak wood can be used as a building material. Imagine how far our students can go if we spend just a tiny fraction of that time crafting their best from what they have to offer.
    Invest in these children. The reward is far more valuable than sandalwood.


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