Key Takeaway: There will be early birds, and there will be late bloomers, especially in higher purpose. But late bloomers are no less worthy than others and can, in fact, bloom the most beautifully. This is essential in understanding purpose.
There is a variety of tulip, depicted above, called the Double Late Tulip. This flower is known to bloom late, hence its name, but at the same time last very long in a pristine condition – perhaps even until early summer. They have a very large number of petals and are also called peony tulips.
What’s particularly interesting for me is that not only does the flower bloom late, but it also last a long while, and that it is very beautiful – more beautiful than many other kinds of flowers! The variety above is the Orange Princess; the one following is the Blue Diamond.
As seen above clearly, just because the Double Late Tulip is a late bloomer, it doesn’t mean it’s any less worthy or successful than other flowers. As we can see, it outshines a lot others, and even outlives them and looks good doing so.
Just so with purpose. In fact, this is one of the most critical things to remember regarding it.
I myself am a late bloomer, both in terms of innate abilities and circumstances. I didn’t develop any social skills (if what I have are called social skills) until I was in high school, and even then they were still very patchy until the latter half of my university days – and each time, I thought I had already developed them. I didn’t develop a truly decent, lasting sense of style until after university – and during my high school and university days I thought I already had!
I didn’t learn how to drive for real until right before my graduation from university (the legal age in the Philippines for student drivers is 16, a time when many are finishing high school or entering college). I didn’t develop a sense of financial literacy whatsoever (except for the knowledge that investments were, well, investments and worthwhile – but I had no money at the time!) until several years after I graduated from university – which, believe me, is very, very late (but not too late)!
Those are just a few of the numerous examples on how I am a late bloomer in so many aspects in my life. But you know what? That’s how things really are for some, and that’s all quite well.
I have a very good friend who is almost the exact opposite. Due to his circumstances and the culture he was raised in, not only is he an early bird, he himself takes the initiative to do things as young as possible – and is successful doing so. As such, I always admit my envy of him, since I myself personally espouse the belief that one is never too young. But I have come to appreciate the wisdom that some people really take time to show what they’re made of – perhaps because of their genetic makeup, or the way they were raised, or the things they were exposed to throughout their lives.
Those around me know I usually (or always :p) express regret and anger at my being a late bloomer – as if it is a bad thing. I do believe that this can be partially countered by the way others are treated or raised (for example, by not being so strict and by nurturing), but we can only go so far. While this is of importance in a person’s skills and talents, it is particularly important in terms of their overall life direction – their higher purpose.
True, we can teach awareness, service, and love to children so that from a young age they can learn how to be responsible and loving. This their elders and peers can influence, and I do advocate teaching them as early as possible, spoiled and disrespectful brats that we have in abundance today. But as to the higher meaning and overall direction of their lives, it can only come in its own time – and that is their own purpose journey to traverse. This is a crucial part of their Life Kits. We can only offer guidance and wisdom along the way.
There will be people who discover their purpose early on in life and have the necessary resources (not just financial, but also intellectual, emotional, social, and spiritual) to act on it. Others will know what they are to do, but cannot concretely follow it up. Yet others know themselves more late in life, whether or not they have the resources for it. They are not to blame: it’s the way things are. In fact, the late bloomers could even surpass the early birds! But this is not for us to determine or judge.
Have a purposeful weekend!