Each changing season of life brings its own richness

> Recently I was dragged to visit Cadbury’s World by my kids – a full-scale chocolate exhibition that is now part of their enormous Birmingham factory. I was struck by how the whole enterprise rested effectively on the shoulders of one man, John Cadbury, who had not been merely a single-handed manufacturer, but a manufacturer to relied on an internationally tradable commodity. In other words in his early days he must have been doubly at the mercy of chance, for commodities are a notoriously fickle market-place. Yet on the back of this capricious monster he, and later his sons, erected not merely a successful company, but one which committed itself to spending millions improving the conditions of its workers – building houses with individual gardens in the 1880s and laying out an environmentally sustainable community that is its own monument. Such an enterprise now appears ‘as safe as houses’ – yet, whatever advantages they may have had, the reality must have been very different and at times, no doubt, very testing indeed.
> So it’s important to keep a sense of perspective when we face difficulties. And that perspective stretches way out of our sight, out of one single lifetime. I know no more of John Cadbury’s vision than the exhibition told me, but one thing stands out: in his ‘allowing’ the process within his life –his Quaker commitment to fair dealing and his concern for his fellow humans– he created a thought-form which survives as a living present.

"It is hard to embrace times of trouble and uncertainty, and yet they are as natural as changes in the weather. For how often, looking back on that film of our life, we find those periods have actually been ones of exceptional ‘innergy’ – what we thought was a disaster was the seed of future growth. We cannot know the ultimate outcome of any of our actions, what counts is that it seems right, in the deepest sense, when we take it – for the rest we must trust the ‘innergy’ that comes from allowing what is right for our lives.
"Within each of us lies our own answer. We cannot wrest it from ourselves as we would so dearly love. We can only allow it to emerge. Allowing is not by any means a passive or fatalistic process, it means fully engaging with the processes of life, but listening (to your self) as well as well as expressing your needs. And to do that you must first trust your self. And in order to trust your self simply allow."

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