In our urgency to ‘achieve results’ (or, in reality, perhaps to ‘show results’ to others) we often tend to forget the miracles that slow, consistent and assiduous work can achieve. The Man Who Planted Trees, published in 1953, is a story of a French shepherd, Elzéard Bouffier, who brings about one such miracle.

    “For a human character to reveal truly exceptional qualities” the book begins, “one must have the good fortune to be able to observe its performance over many years. If this performance is devoid of all egoism, if its guiding motive is unparalleled generosity, if it is absolutely certain that there is no thought of recompense and that, in addition, it has left its visible mark upon the earth, then there can be no mistake.”

    An animated version of the story, available on YouTube, is a good watch for adults and children alike:

    And in case you thought such cases weren’t possible ‘in today’s world’, you couldn’t be more wrong! – As this video of Jadav Payeng, who has planted a 1,360 acres forest almost single-handedly, on a barren sandbar in Assam, India, shows.

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