The Spark and The Blaze

Today we’re going to switch it up a bit. I was a little bored last night, so, instead of writing a regular The Serious blog post, I decided to write a fable (which I wrote really quickly, so give me a little grace here). But I think you’ll still find that there’s a lesson.

So without further ado:

Once upon a time, there was a village at the heart of a forest. In this village, born and raised, was a young boy with whom no one would play. For the child, though innocent and pure, was the people’s laughingstock, year after year. More than just strangers and those who only passed through, he was laughed at by so-called friends and his family too. Because in a city dependent on the flames its citizens would create, this boy couldn’t make a fire if he tried all day. In modern society, some would say that’s okay, but in this village there were fires ignited by babes. Yet try all he could, as hard as he might, he could only produce the smallest spark of light.

“You’re useless!” Called the men.

“Maybe you should leave.” Said the school.

Indeed, the boy’s spark was so feeble and meek that he was even looked down upon by the local fools.

But though he was discouraged by the rest, and failed test after test, the young boy refused to give up on his dream: to spark a blaze so large and great it made his people scream.

Day after day, week after week, and year after year the boy worked at his craft. But through and through his frustration grew; the smallest spark all he could produce.

When a decade had gone by, the people made up in their minds to cast the boy aside. Banished, until he could create a fire, the boy was left to die. 

A lone tear in his eye, the boy stepped outside all that he had known. Hiking to the edge of the forest, he looked back and wanted to moan.

But rather than sink into self-pity, the boy decided to give it one last try. And making do with sticks, without any flint, he struck the wood three times.

One spark. Two sparks. Three, a still small spark. Dejected the boy fell down and cried, clutching his broken heart. 

But then the boy felt heat, and looking up he couldn’t help but grin. For the sight, extraordinarily fearsome, warmed him from within. 

The small spark he’d created had lit the tallest tree. And the flame that shot up it soon reached the canopies.

Spreading from there to the rest of the forest, the fire seemed to bend. And the village hearing and seeing their doom, couldn’t help but cringe.

They knew this was the work of the outcast, who’d succeded after all. They knew his success – the flames of revenge – could only mean their end.

So don’t worry if your work seems to have no effect, and conversely, don’t laugh at those who seem to be a wreck. As you continue your day, remember this phrase: the smallest spark can start the greatest blaze.

Until next time.

– JP

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