I continued to read. "Step 1. Go out and find two identical lily pads. When you find them, come back and go to step 2." I gulped down my tea, grabbed a slice of toast, and headed out to look for 2 identical lily pads. It seemed like hours went by and I couldn't find two pads that were exactly the same. I found some that were very close, but none that were identical. Discouraged, I went back home. I opened up the email and read a little further. "Step 2. Go out and find two identical flowers. When you find them, come back and go on to the next step." Once again, I headed out, this time to look for flowers. I just knew that this trip would prove more fruitful than the last.
After several hours, once again, I still hadn't found two flowers that were exactly alike. They looked the same but, upon closer examination, the colors were slightly different or one had a few more petals than the other. This assignment was proving far more challenging than I had first thought! I hopped back to the the ol' lily pad and read the next part of the email.
"Step 3. Go out and find two identical bugs. When you find them, bring them back and read the next part of your assignement." This was getting to be exhausting, but I didn't want to disappoint my teacher, so off I went. I looked at flies. I looked at bees. I looked at mosquitoes. I looked and looked. Finally! I found two flies that were identical. I was so happy! I brought them home and was getting ready to read the next section of my email when it happened. I noticed that the flies weren't the same after all. One was much fatter than the other. Oh my! I was failing my assignment miserably. I was so upset that I ate both flies.
But, discouraged and frustrated as I was, I continued reading Dharma's email. "I have one final task for you to complete. Go look in a mirror." I did as I was instructed. As I studied my face in the looking glass, I realized that even my own reflection wasn't the same as me! It was reversed. I was beginning to see a pattern develope. My teacher and friend always has a point to make so I read the the last paragraph of Dharma Frog's message. It was this; "Irwin, by now, you must be feeling a little bad. You haven't found two identical lily pads, or flowers, or bugs...have you? Even your reflection wasn't the same. And I am quite sure that you couldn't decide which one was the better looking...the right you, or the left you! There's a reason for that, my son. Nature doesn't create any two things exactly the same. Uniqueness is nature's hallmark. And in uniqueness comes beauty, my young student. A beautiful frog is never perfect. Remember that. Embrace that. Each of us was created to be special, to be unique and wonderful...with all of our little imperfections. It's the things that we see as "flaws" that others see and our true beauty."
This had been a very trying morning but, as always, the Dharma Frog had taught me a valuable life lesson; that beauty is unique. It's not cookie-cutter, nor is it a standard by which we should strive to achieve. We are all born different. We are all born beautiful. It's up to each of us to see not only the beauty in ourselves, but to see the beauty in others, as well. So, armed with this knowledge, I set off to discover more of the beauty that surrounds me; to see the little differences in everyday thing that I take for granted, as real works of art and something to behold. You're quite the artist, Mother Nature!