If we are anything alike, when I get busy I start to lose perspective on life. This is all good when everything is going well, but when bad fortune hits it can be devastating. So, to keep my perspective in life, I often refer to various parables that help me keep my perspective.
Once upon the time there was an old farmer who had worked his crops for many years. One day his horse ran away. Upon hearing the news, his neighbors came to visit. “Such bad luck,” they said sympathetically.
“Maybe,” the farmer replied.
The next morning the horse returned, bringing with it three other wild horses. “How wonderful,” the neighbors exclaimed.
“Maybe,” replied the old man.
The following day, his son tried to ride one of the untamed horses, was thrown, and broke his leg. The neighbors again came to offer their sympathy on his misfortune.
“Maybe,” answered the farmer.
The day after, military officials came to the village to draft young men into the army. Seeing that the son’s leg was broken, they passed him by. The neighbors congratulated the farmer on how well things had turned out.
“Maybe,” said the farmer.
My key take-away from this story is that even though we should certainly celebrate when things go well, we should not get carried away. Opposite, when bad things happen we should not lose our cool. We all know life has its ups and downs, the key is to regain focus and move on.
Two monks were returning to the monastery in the evening. It had rained and there were puddles of water on the road sides. At one place a beautiful young woman was standing unable to walk across because of a puddle of water. The elder of the two monks went up to a her lifted her and left her on the other side of the road, and continued his way to the monastery.
In the evening the younger monk came to the elder monk and said, “Sir, as monks, we cannot touch a woman ?”
The elder monk answered “yes, brother”.
Then the younger monk asks again, “but then Sir, how is that you lifted that woman on the roadside ?”
The elder monk smiled at him and told him ” I left her on the other side of the road, but you are still carrying her.”
If I have learned anything in life, it’s that when life causes misfortune to land on your shoulders, you must carry on. As dark as the world may be, you must have faith that everything will correct itself. Life is a fair game, it only can be at times.
“At the end of the game, the king and the pawn go back in the same box.”
Even though this is not a parable, it still happens to be one of the most important ideals in my life. As this quote describes, we all start and end at the same place in life. There is nothing more cleansing than remembering this.