The oyster and the pearl

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I stumbled across a website called How Stuff Works, which explains how pearls are formed in the Oyster to produce the beautiful pearl that is etched onto our chains, earrings and bracelets. I have mentioned the story before, in brief, but being the curious kitten that I am I have delved a little deeper in my research, whilst going through some changes and circumstances in life. First, let me paint the background picture to this post.

“The formation of a natural pearl begins when a foreign substance slips into the oyster between the mantle and the shell, which irritates the mantle. It’s kind of like the oyster getting a splinter. The oyster’s natural reaction is to cover up that irritant to protect itself. The mantle covers the irritant with layers of the same nacre substance that is used to create the shell. This eventually forms a pearl. So a pearl is a foreign substance covered with layers of nacre. Most pearls that we see in jewelry stores are nicely rounded objects, which are the most valuable ones. Not all pearls turn out so well. Some pearls form in an uneven shape — these are called baroque pearls. Pearls, as you’ve probably noticed, come in a variety of various colors, including white, black, gray, red, blue and green. Most pearls can be found all over the world, but black pearls are indigenous to the South Pacific.”

Whilst growth takes place within, notice that it requires an external substance to influence and irritate the organ that produces change. 1. Growth is dependent on our environment 2. Growth is never comfortable Being the reflective soul that I am, and in the process of packing for London, I would like to share a few thoughts today about pearls, growth and change. It’s a bit of a deep topic today, but if you are growing a team, a business, or your own life, then hopefully you will find this useful. If not, come back again soon and I’ll muster you up something a little less meaty.

My good friend pointed out in a conversation that we  are a generation that when something doesn’t work, we throw it out, or trade it in and buy new. Where as the previous generation, baby boomers and above, grew up in a culture that when things didn’t work, they fixed them; she got me thinking…It’s easy to dismiss situations in life when things don’t go our way, or it turns out to look different from our preconceived idea. For example, a business venture that didn’t work, or a relationship that required work, or project that turned out different than what you anticipated.

It’s inevitable that in life we will experience change, and lots of it. When I think back to what it was like growing up through childhood in a rush to experience adulthood, celebrating every inch of growth with a competition between friends. The irony is that when we finally reach adulthood we often find that we don’t like the responsibilities that come with it. If we don’t allow our businesses, or our teams to adapt to the change in the market, or make room for our digital and tech savvy culture, then we limit our effect as a business.  If we wrap ourselves up in cotton wool, and never take a chance in life after listening the bad news reports all day, filling us with fear, then we would miss out on the beauty that life has to offer. Change is readily avoided and resisted by many human beings, and as a result they become stagnant and malnourished, when in fact change is an opportunity for growth.  

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