Wide-eyed, our two oldest grandchildren hung on every word as I explained the mysterious power of “growing powder.” I explained that I just found the last little bit of the powerful powder my own dad used on me when I was only five years old. (It’s no coincidence that our grandchildren are five and four). Excitedly I told them the mystical powder helped me grow tall. I explained that my dad applied some to the top of my head, my big toe and finally, a dash on my tongue. At last I asked, “Would you like me to put ‘growing powder’ on you?”
Moments later I was bench-marking their height with a pencil on the inside of a door jamb. We headed for the sunroom anticipating the magical application. They were excited but not frivolous, solemn but not sober. Daliah concentrated as the ritual commenced with her younger brother. I applied the white “growing powder” while quietly making it clear that it didn’t take much.
After application, Asher (4 yrs) stood tall against the door-jamb where his original mark waited for comparison. I carefully made the mark and announced, “Yup, it worked!” Asher joyfully spun to see he’d grown a full ½ inch.
Daliah (5 yrs) struggled to maintained her poise as the final swipe of the effective powder landed on her taste buds. I asked, “What does it taste like?” “Peppermint,” she replied quizzically. A taste quite like powdered antacid. Sure enough, upon inspection “growing powder” caused Daliah to sprout like her brother.
I wish Personal growth was as easy as applying “growing powder” but it never is. I think the context of personal growth is tension. We grow when we are stretched. If you’d like to grow, step into a situation you aren’t fully equipped to handle.
Note: Honestly, my dad never applied growing powder to me. However, the rest of the growing powder story is true. Well, they may not have grown a full ½ inch. Furthermore, we soon discovered that “growing powdered” had enabled both Daliah and Asher to jump higher and run faster.
What facilitates personal growth? What suggestions can you offer a person who wants to grow their leadership skills?