You Pick Moss, Don’t
Expect Blueberry Pie
Editorial by Robert
think I am one of the luckiest people in the world because of
the time I am able to spend with young, vibrant people who are
not afraid to demonstrate their excitement and zest for life.
Personally, I would take a person with passion and enthusiasm
over a person with skills and talent any day of the week. You
can teach and develop skills, but you cannot develop a love of
life and an optimistic attitude. These are character traits
which become the very fabric of a person’s being and which
emerge at all times during work or play. Furthermore they are
traits that everyone is born with and you never lose them.
As a classroom teacher, and now as an Independent
Education and Career Planning Advisor, I come across far too
many children and young adults who are on a road to despair
unless someone can find a way to rekindle the fire inside and
change their attitude towards learning and indeed life itself!
In other words – bring back the zest for life we all see in
children during the first years of their life. Bring that
feeling that everyday is filled with wonderful experiences and
Unfortunately, society is turning out too many children
and young adults who feel as if they are “entitled” to
things without ever having to put much effort or thought into
their work. They are just along for the ride and expect
everyone around them to cater to their every wish and hand
them life on a silver platter.
Whenever I come across anyone – young or old – who
wants to experience all of the good things in life, but are
unwilling to do the work that comes first in order to be in a
position to enjoy those things, I am reminded about the story
of a lazy boy who went with his mother and grandmother on a
blueberry picking hike into the woods.
First of all, the boy made sure he selected the
smallest basket he could find. Then, while the others worked
hard at picking berries, he ran around the area, playing with
the squirrels and chasing butterflies. When it was time to
leave, he panicked and filled his basket mostly with moss and
then topped it off with a thin layer of berries so that it
looked full. His mother and grandmother commended him for his
The next morning his mother baked pies and she made a
special saucer-sized pie just for her son. He could hardly
wait for it to cool. Blueberry pie was his favourite! He could
see the plump berries oozing through a slit in the crust, and
his mouth watered in anticipation. However, as he sunk his
fork into the flaky crust, he found mostly….moss!
That day the boy learned a valuable lesson he would
never forget. If you “pick blueberries” you can expect
blueberry pie. But if you pick moss, you can only make moss
So remember, whether you are in school or at work, if
you have enthusiasm and if you are willing to put in
consistent effort along with passion, you will reap the
rewards. If, on the other hand, you are lazy and prefer to
take short-cuts, you should not expect to achieve the same
And so as our young people approach the conclusion of
another school year it is once again a time of reckoning. The
marks on the report card will give you a pretty good
indication of just how hard you worked this past year. If you
did your best at all times and always approached new tasks
with enthusiasm and excitement, then you should be satisfied
with the results.
However, if you slacked off most of the year; spent
time going out and having fun instead of working harder on
assignments and projects; chose to go to the movies instead of
studying for those exams, you deserve low marks and hopefully
you too will learn a valuable lesson about life.
I would ask all parents to share this story with their
children. Keep a copy some place handy in case you have to
prove your point about the benefits of hard work. Keep
reminding them that in this life, “If you pick moss, don’t
expect blueberry pie!”
Have a good week!