I was watering in our greenhouse and noticed a butterfly that was trapped inside. I left the door open while I watered outside and the butterfly simply didn’t move. It worked hard to fly away but kept bumping into the clear ceiling. I gently placed my finger under it’s legs and slowly took it outside. I leaned down and left it on a plant to then watch it fly away, never to be seen again.
As I finished watering I thought about all the people I have encouraged over the years. The ones I had a simple interaction with, or provided a few words of wisdom, or those I invested in until they were ready for their next step. I thought about all the people whose name I could no longer remember or those I pray for often, and those somewhere in-between.
So many times we focus on helping others, seeing them succeed, being part of their lives and helping them bring out their best. We are the farmer who plants the seeds of encouragement and success in their souls. It doesn’t mean we will be there for the harvest. We may never see who they become or understand how what we did helped them along their path. And that’s okay. It’s not about getting credit or being recognized that we helped them succeed. It’s really about planting seeds and letting time work it’s magic. It’s not for us to get the credit, it is for them to learn what they need at the time and fly away towards success.
Later in the afternoon I was outside again and saw a butterfly like the one I helped. I have no idea if it was the same one, but it did remind me that being helpful towards others has more reward than getting credit. It means being willing, saying yes, and not worrying about who knows what you did. It means being willing to do your best even though the person you help is destined never to be seen again.