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The Thing With Growth

Jeff Shuck
July 5, 2018

The Thing With Growth

It can come upon you slowly
Silent like a ghost
Or seize upon you quickly
And shake you to your toes
Its waves will twist and turn you
And dump you on the coast
You'll be a better swimmer, though –
That's the thing with growth.

It can validate assumptions
Just what you've diagnosed
Or treat you like an idiot
When you start to boast
You've got to drop the story
Or your ego will be toast
You'll learn that you're resilient, though –
That's the thing with growth.

It can hang you up a yardarm
Dangling from a rope
Or set you on a mountaintop
Confirming every hope
One thing that's always certain, though
You've got the skills to cope
This is what we're born for –
That's the thing with growth.

~ J. W. Shuck, June 2017

This poem came to me a year ago, as I awoke a day after co-facilitating our June 2017 session of Lantern, Plenty's leadership retreat. The experience of Lantern had left me awed and inspired, and I wrote the poem in only a few minutes.

The words found me again last week, as Plenty co-leader Jennifer Mulholland and I finished our seventh session of Lantern. The poem spoke to me again, as I struggled to put into words the courage, growth, and idealism I witnessed at Lantern. Each session seems to be more special and more transformative than the last.

During this week when we honor and celebrate freedom, Plenty's deepest hope for you is that you create for yourself the freedom to actualize the growth you were born for. The world needs you.


Let's unlock growth.

Join us this October for our fall session of Lantern, our acclaimed leadership retreat.

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