This is not a story about fishes or grasshoppers. Nor is it about kings or pirates. This is a story about a crayon. Yes, the ones we use in kindergarten to add colour to our lives (In primary school we used to write autobiographic essays, like: I am a pencil or I am a basket. This is my attempt to re-write those kinds of essays):
I am a crayon. I am short, I am blunt. When you use me, my smell will stick on your fingers. Your hands can get messy. You probably won’t like me, but my owner does. Well… at least he used to.
My owner used to go to kindergarten, and he would bring me along each day. He used me to draw pictures and add colors to it. He has a very good imagination, and he has such strong passion that he could draw and color all day long. It’s hard for him to contain all his imaginations inside his six-year old head, but with my help, e could pour it all out on paper. He would draw pictures of his whole family, show it to his mom and dad and it made them smile. It made him smile. It made me smile. That’s when I feel most purposeful. Those were the times of my life
One day, he learned to write, and used me to write down the words he learned. Day by day, his writing improved, he learned more and more words. I was happier than ever for being able to help. I was very proud of him. But one day, as I sat in the drawer where I was kept, a newcomer came in. Wrapped in a neat box reading ‘2B Pencils’, I wonder where this newcomer came from.
“Those are Pencils” Paper told me. “They’re used to write too, you know?
“Wait, why does he need Pencils when he can just use me?”
“Well , you’ll see soon enough”
I wasn’t too worried at first. We have spent so much time together. No newcomer can shake that. But little did I know that I was soon to be replaced. As days passed by, I was taken out less and less frequently. He didn’t bring me to kindergarten anymore.
“Kindergarten? No, he goes to school now,” Pencil told me one day.
“He used me to write down notes, you know, and during art class, he would sketch with me. It was really fun!”
“Wow! What’s a sketch?” I asked.
“It’s hard to explain. Here, look for yourself”
Paper showed me the sketches. It was very beautiful. My owner used to draw houses, trees or cars with me, but this sketch was a whole different thing. ‘Now I know why I haven’t been taken out lately, maybe if I could draw like pencil, he would take me out to school too!’ I thought. I hear Pencil brag about his time with my owner. He tells stories about exams, arts, about mathematics. I grew jealous of him each day. So I practiced sketching every day, but it proved fruitless. Then I turned to writing. I tried to write like pencil: sharp and crisp, but still I couldn’t. My writings were messy.
I was so disappointed, but I still waited for my owner to take me out again, but he never did. It had been months since I saw the daylight. Until one day, I finally gave up and went into seclusion. I spent my time in a dark corner, reminiscing my good old days. Each time I remember my owner’s smile, the smile of his mom and dad when he showed his drawing of the family, I felt happy again. Suddenly it occured to me: I didn’t really want to write sharp and crisp letters, I didn’t really want to sketch beautiful portraits; all I wanted was to make people happy. Trying to be a pencil ceased to make sense anymore.
One fateful day, I was taken out again. But it wasn’t my owner. I had a feeling that I was going to be thrown out. But my worries were futile...I wasn’t thrown out. It was a little girl who took me. I never knew that my owner had a baby sister! She took me, and started drawing on a piece of paper. It had been a while since I’d done this, but I couldn’t say I did well for my age. What was important was that I was taken out into the world again and I make people smile.
I am a crayon. I am short, I am blunt. When you use me, my smell will stick on your fingers. Your hands can get messy. You won’t probably like me, but I make little children happy, that’s what I’m good at and I’m proud of it. I used to regret being myself; I wished I was a pencil or a pen. But I am who I am. Whoever you are out there, you may have used me some point during your childhood, you may not remember me, but I am proud to make you happy back then.
Sometimes we are intimidated by other people. We’re impressed by their abilities. Like Crayon impressed over Pencil’s ability to draw and write sharp and crisp. But the heart of life is good. We all have our own strengths and weaknesses. Be yourself, and discover yourself. Put your strengths to good use, and never fret about your weaknesses. Some people feel that their life lacks meaning because they’re trying too hard on the wrong things, or they're simply trying too many things at once. I'm sure you've heard this before:
If you chase two rabbits, both will escape
So identify what you’re good at, focus on it , and you will be able to contribute more. With God's will, success will follow. Spend more time focusing on what you do well rather than what you do wrong. When you focus on doing that you love, once you've lighten up that passion, your blood will have that particular thing in it, and it's very hard for people to stop you.
by Lutfi Fadil Lokman