Max said, “I get discouraged.”
“Everybody else in Real Love seems to learn and grow faster than I do.”
“And you think that makes you inferior in some way?”
“Sure, doesn’t it?”
“Not necessarily. You do seem to learn slower than many, but why does that have to be a bad thing?”
I have observed many people who catch on to the principles of Real Love with extraordinary speed, but who then become distracted by another set of principles, or get offended, or for some other reason abandon Real Love.
Other people move more slowly, but they don’t quit. They keep moving, and step by step they become profoundly happy, which is the only goal that really matters.
In the late 1600s and early 1700s, the Stradivari family in Italy produced stringed instruments—violins, violas, cellos, guitars—of exceptional quality, the most notable member of the family being Antonio Stradivari. The sound produced by his violins is so revered among musicians that individual violins have sold for as much as $16 million.
Many theories have been advanced to explain the unique quality of the Stradivarius sound, including a recent scientific study of one “Strad” that demonstrated that the wood was harvested from trees whose growth rings were three times closer together than the average for the spruce, willow, and maple used to create most violins. Close rings indicate slow growth, and it was during Stradivari’s lifetime that the earth experienced global cold temperatures during the Little Ice Age, which was associated with unusually low solar activity of the Maunder Minimum.
In short, the slow growth of the trees—and resultant dense wood—used to create Stradivarius violins is thought by many scientists to explain the unusual richness of sound that is so highly prized. Human beings likewise sometimes grow more slowly but nonetheless become Stradivarii who elevate the joy in the world.