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  • Writer's pictureFern

Watermelon Or Sesame Seed

Updated: 4 days ago

Throughout our upbringing, we’ve been fascinated with fables that aimed to pass on life’s lessons before we embarked on our journeys. Tales warned us not to mimic the shepherd boy who lied about the wolf and found himself without aid when in danger or the greedy farmer whose actions led to the demise of his golden goose, resulting in more significant loss.

These stories linger in our memories, ready to be recalled when encountering similar dilemmas, subtly molding our worldviews.

Yet, what if these fables, rather than enriching our lives, actually hinder our exploration of life as we desire? What if our internalized morals are merely external expectations masked as our motivations?

Where I came from, a famous fable warned children, ‘Don’t lose the watermelon over a sesame seed.’ The story is about a rabbit who chose a sesame seed over a watermelon. Initially thrilled by a large, succulent watermelon, the rabbit intended to share it with his family.

However, upon encountering a red apple, a novelty to him, he abandoned the watermelon for the apple. This pattern continued, with the rabbit consistently opting for discoveries over previous ones, ultimately leaving him with a mere sesame seed and a heart full of regret for the treasures he had forsaken.

The story is a cautionary tale, suggesting that indecisiveness leads to settling for less than one could have. We’ve all chuckled at the rabbit’s folly, thinking, “How foolish not to cling to that luscious watermelon.” Therefore, we hold on to our own ‘watermelons’ in life, fearing the prospect of ending up with insignificant ‘sesame seeds.’

But how could we have the opportunity to experience an apple, a banana, or some peanuts if we didn’t give up the watermelon? Perhaps the rabbit’s tale and the ensuing laughter from the audience have instilled fear in us. Is it so wrong to occasionally make mistakes? Who’s to say a watermelon is inherently superior to sesame seeds?

The answer varies depending on one’s experiences—perhaps a sesame seed holds more allure than a watermelon seed for someone who has never tasted one. Or maybe the rabbit found the watermelon too burdensome to carry, prompting the choice to bring home a sesame seed instead.

Life is fleeting. It may be shaped by our choices but not defined by them. As long as we live, there are growth opportunities. Yet, these decisions need not be as clear-cut as choosing between a watermelon and a sesame seed. Whatever decision you make, the key is to decide what brings you joy or peace. So you won’t feel you wasted your life on the day when the ferryman comes to get you to the afterlife.

Empowering Minds. Inspiring Lives.

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