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What humans can learn from grapes about life

A few years back I lived just outside Florence, Italy in the Chianti region of Italy where the famous Chianti wines are made. One day I was walking along a trail next to a vineyard when I came upon an elderly farmer standing among his grape vines. Eager to practice my Italian, I said to the man, “This is a beautiful vineyard you have.”

Tante grazie,” he replied.

“You must have very good soil to grow such grapes that make famous wines.”

The man looked at me then said, “No, Signore. You cannot grow good grapes in good soil.”

I thought this curious and so when I got back home I looked it up on the internet. The farmer was right of course. I learned that bad soil yields higher quality grapes than good soil because, in poor soil, the vines have to work harder, branching off more roots to gather nutrients. Not only does this increase the amount of nutrients that ultimately get to the grape, but it also regulates how much water the plant gets. If a vine has too much water, the result is a fat, characterless grape.

This is a perfect metaphor for we humans as well. Trials and challenges rise before us like mountains. But mountains can raise us or bury us depending on which side of the mountain we choose to stand. Ultimately it’s a matter of choice. Some people choose to be whiners, some choose to be winners. Some choose to be victims, some choose to be victors.

We can spend our days bemoaning our hurts or we can grow from them. Ultimately the choice is ours. We can be victims of circumstance or masters of our own fate, but make no mistake, we cannot be both.

History and life teach us that more times than not we do not succeed in spite of our challenges and difficulties but, rather, precisely because of them.

Even a grape knows that.

Please help someone and Share. Richard Paul Evans is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of more than thirty books. His latest book, THE MISTLETOE INN, is currently a New York Times bestseller and is now on sale. Join Richard’s Facebook Page by clicking here.

This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. I am sad to day and overwhelmed. I found out at 72 husbands still cheat. I am faced with being homeless. Not without a home for I have my daughters. Oh at the sorrow of this kind of change. To never turn the key in a door called home. What to dispose of and what to keep. At my age I have been to hell many times and the Lord has brought me through it. I have no doubt he will do the same now. Not tne first time my wee heart has been broken it always heals. I know God lives and I do serve him and I wil be ok, not great not totally happy but I will be ok, The blog was profound thank you

  2. I’m looking for the grape pie recipe mentioned in this book, The Last Promise. And I did love the book. You have written many good books.

  3. I am just starting to read the Broken Road series. I love your ability to pique our imaginations to give life to these characters. I read the entire WALK series. In this current book I’d like to point out a “ loving constructive criticism”. I could be wrong, but at the beginning of each chapter when you make a statement, or give a quote under the post script ‘ Charles James’s Diary….I believe it should read : “ Charles James’ Diary” …..if it ends in an “s” you don’t need the apostrophe s. “ Like Jesus’ Love”. Maybe either is acceptable. Just sayin’ …….
    Looking forward to the next two books in the series.

    Please try to come to Hendersonville, N.C. Or Asheville,N.C. We’d love to have you.

    Vicki Hamill

  4. Rick,
    I have read most of your books in the past, but had stopped reading books of late because of my health. This weekend I picked up 3 of your books and decided your books were what I was going to read. I just finished “The Carousel” in one day. Every book has such a great message. You always uplift my spirits. I loved your Grape Metaphor. I look forward to reading another one of your books.

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