Thursday, June 24, 2010

Apple Is My Teacher


By Sharni Montgomery - please visit me sometime at Sharnanigans! 
I am convinced that on the journey of life we are thrown several character tests.
Opportunities or a run-in where our decision will either send us plummeting backwards (in which case the lesson usually rears its head again in another form) or flings us forward.
Sharnanigans was recently thrown an opportunity which I experienced as a test of my integrity.
A metaphorical ‘apple’, if you will.
I was honored to receive an email offering me an opportunity to write for a major Australian Parenting Website.
They told me that they had chosen my blog along with a handful of other “Australian Mummy Bloggers” that they considered to be a great contributors to the Australian online community. (yes my head swelled considerably)
The email went on to say that they would send me a massive hamper of deluxe products from a very well known baby product company.
I could either review the products or write about a special experience of motherhood and link my story to their site, have my site mentioned on theirs and display their ‘badge’ on mine.
There is no doubt about it, I was wrapped (and grateful) to be chosen for such an opportunity.
I throw everything I have into this website and opportunities that pop up as a result are virtual pats on the back.
After the initial excitement wore off I had a think about the offer.
I considered the moment when the Courier delivered me a big hamper of goodies.
Caught up in my self-importance I got butterflies in my stomach and may or may not have bragged about the prospect to friends.
This was my angel on one shoulder, devil on the other moment.
While I was drifting in Ego Heaven a familiar voice piped up.
It was Angel.
“Ummmmm… what are you even considering this for girlfriend? I have two words for ya :  Natural.Products ! Ring any bells???  Geeeez!
(she has a bit of ‘tude this particular angel, but I’m down with that)
Oh sheesh, that is right, I am on a quest to use all natural products for my son and have been reviewing them.
Why on Earth would I do a complete 360 and start plugging a brand that doesn’t comply with this?
Blogging without Integrity anyone?
As quickly as it arrived the fantasy of the Hamper arrival went into the dustbin.
I explained that I could not accept the gift of the hamper as I would not use these products nor write about them as they would present a conflict of interest.
I said, I would, however, be happy to write about a lovely motherhood experience and wear their badge on my website.
I lost the gig.
While this hurt my ego a bit initially, I gave myself a pat on the back because I had passed my own personal test.
I am quickly learning that opportunities come along often, some are ‘tests’ sent to challenge our resolve and personal integrity.
Whether we choose to be true to ourselves at these moments or get caught up in the temptation offered and ‘take the apple’ is one of the most common challenges we face as human beings.
I have spent a good chunk of my life feasting on the ‘apples’ that have been presented to me, without a second thought!
Looking back the ‘apples’ I consumed didn’t do much to keep the doctor away or my sanity intact but if you never accept an ‘apple’ you can never learn to knock one back.
Today I am proud of the fact that I saw this situation in a new light.
While this opportunity and hamper may have been a wonderful blessing for some, for me it was a test of my resolve.
Rejecting a hamper is No Big Deal or heroic effort but the exercise was beyond hampers, it was an excellent reminder and lesson to myself.
When all is said and done, it is the tests you set for yourself and your ability to pass them that matter.


Alex said...

Good on you, Sharni! It's the little things that we pass up that build our character.

Pamela Bousquet said...

Kudos, Sharni.

Sometimes these little tests on our character are hidden beneath what appears to be offers of good-will...while you probably wouldn't have doen any "harm" to anyone, you stayed true to yourself - in today's world, that is becoming difficult.
Great post!

Wanderlust said...

Good for you Sharni. Many more opportunities will come your way and you can choose those that are in alignment with your values. xx

Katherine Jenkins said...

Sharni-I don't worry about you getting gigs. You will most certainly be lined up with whatever suits you. You don't need to write for anything that doesn't Great post, my friend!

Marla said... won! You stood for what you believe. There is no greater gig than that one. Well done!!