One has leaves like little feathers spun out of rust, bursting out of its center spine. Another is a splash of pure gold. And the last one is brown, with two of its edges turned upwards in a kind of makeshift grin. They don't look remotely alike, yet they are all leaves, family members.
Which one is best? An absurd question, clearly: all of them are best. Or to be more accurate, there is no best; each leaf danced on a perfect tree, offered dollops of live luscious color to the world for a mystical while, and then floated down slowly to go to sleep on a bed of green velvet. A true success story.
So we're like that, too: leaves of varying shapes and colors and textures feeding off treesap and bowing into breezes until we're ready to break off and fall away. The difference is, we've got minds, which enable us to label ourselves different. Once we are classified as different, We have treewars. Our tree is better than the next tree and our shapes are classier and more deserving of self esteem than the shapes over there in the next yard - which of course entitles us to feel proud. Or else the shapes over there in the next yard are classier and more savvy than us, in which case we hang our heads.
We find all of this constant comparison fascinating, of course, but it makes it easy to forget that we're all leaves, no more, no less.
And if we focus on the difference in shape and color, we may not find out anything about the nature of leaves themselves, and the nature of life. We may miss the point.
So that's the message behind "never judge a book by its cover", which we have been hearing for years and years, and still don't pay much attention to. We like judging books by their covers; it's quicker than reading the whole thing. And we like calling person A worthwhile and person B absurd: again, it's easier than looking deeper and wider; it's easier than employing Spiritual Vision.
I have in my hand three leaves, all different. One is gold, one is rust, one is brown. You may have one you prefer, so may I. Nevertheless, they're all best in their own way; they each have an indispensable function. Each is born of Spiritual Power. And each one of them points ceaselessly to the miracle of life itself
Like you, they're priceless.