DON’T GET USED TO IT

“Imagine you want to boil a frog, how do you do it?” John asked Peter.

“Well,  I would simply place the frog into a pot of hot water.”

“Don’t you think that as soon as the frog feels the heat, it will jump out?” said John  smilingly.

“How would you go about it?” Peter asked.

“Put a pot of cool water on the stove and then add the frog.  Not sensing danger the frog will stay.” John said.  “Next, turn the burner on low to slowly heat the water. As the water warms, the frog relaxes. The warmth feels good. As the water gets hotter it acts like a steam bath draining away energy and deepening the frog’s relaxation. The frog becomes sleepy and has less and less energy while the water is getting hotter and hotter. By the time the frog realizes its danger, the water is beginning to boil, and it is too late to take action. There is neither time nor energy left to do anything. The frog perishes in the boiling water.” John concluded.

Source: Based on a version of the story I first read in
Daniel QuinnThe Story of B

CONSIDER THIS

Although after a quick internet search, I was relieved to learn this story isn’t factual (modern biologists have debunked the myth), the tale is still a metaphor worth simmering in!

Haven’t all of us, at some point in our life, remained in situations that weren’t good for us, that were slowly damaging our body, crippling our mind and stifling our spirit?

Are we paying close attention to what is going on around us or are we allowing ourselves to become complacent, not noticing when the ‘water’ is getting hot?

Keep testing the water, so you can leap before you boil.

A DISCONCERTING REAPPEARANCE

Once upon a time a young man who had been reported killed in action came home from a prisoner of war camp. His family and his buddies and even his girlfriend had mourned him as dead and then more or less got over their grief.

His sudden reappearance was disconcerting, to say the least. They had all loved him, but they had in effect written him out of their lives. His girlfriend was engaged to marry someone else. Moreover, he didn’t seem like the boy who had gone off to war. He was thin and haggard and haunted.

However, he was now mature, self-possessed, and, astonishingly, happy. He hadn’t smiled much as a kid and rarely joked. Now he was witty and ebullient all the time. A quiet kid had become an outgoing adult man. He didn’t fit in the patterns of relationships he had left behind. Quite the contrary, his happiness and maturity were unsettling. He congratulated his former girlfriend on her coming marriage and shook hands cordially with the fiancé. There’s something wrong with him, everyone said. His family went to the priest. There sure is, the priest said – he has risen from the dead and now acts like a saint.

Source: Andrew M. Greeley, April 20, 2003
www.agreeley.com

CONSIDER THIS

  • “Anyone who comes to me but refuses to let go of father, mother, spouse, children, brothers, sisters—yes, even one’s own self!—can’t be my disciple.” – Luke 14:26
  • “What requires courage is being willing to disappoint and upset all those friends and family members who want us to stay the way we are, because they want to stay the way they are. It’s being prepared to redefine success and failure, and to become a fool if need be. At heart it’s being willing to receive information from the darkness within, so there can be less of us that is buried, and more of us resurrected.”  -David Weale

YOU CANNOT PAINT THE WHOLE WORLD GREEN

There was a millionaire once who was bothered by two aches, one in his stomach and the other in his head! He was diagnosed and treated by a galaxy of medical experts. He consumed heavy loads of drugs, and underwent centuries of injections. But the aches persisted with greater vigour than ever before!

At last, a monk arrived at the scene of his agony. He spoke very kindly to him, and pronounced the fault to be in his eye! Set right the eye, and the head on top and the stomach below would both behave very sweetly! To improve the eye, concentrate on only one colour. Concentrate on green, he suggested. Do not let your eyes fall on red or yellow, or any other colour.

The rich man got together a group of painters and purchased barrels of green colour and directed that every object on which his eye was likely to fall be painted thick green.

When the monk came to visit him after few days, the wealthy man’s servants ran with buckets of green paint and poured it on him since he was in red dress, lest their master see any other colour and the pain in his eye would come back.

Hearing this, the monk laughed and said “If only you had purchased a pair of green glasses, worth just a few dollars, you could have saved these walls and trees and pots and pans, and chairs and sofas and also a pretty large share of your fortune! You cannot paint the world green.”

Source: Loosely based on a story found in
Sathya Sai Baba (Author), N. Kasturi (Editor)
Chinna Katha (Sai Bhavan; Revised edition,1978)

CONSIDER THIS

How often do we try to change other people, and get frustrated when they refuse to change? But how often do we take a look at ourselves? If we would just change our own outlook, change our own way of thinking, change our own actions, our change might motivate others to change as well. Mahatma Gandhi said, “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”

Let us change our vision and the world will appear accordingly. It is foolish to shape the world, let us shape ourselves first.

CAN YOU SPARE SOME CHANGE?

A beggar had been sitting by the side of the road for over thirty years. One day a stranger walked by. “Spare some change?” mumbled the beggar, mechanically holding out his old baseball cap.

“I have nothing to give you,” said the stranger. Then he asked: “What’s that you are sitting on?”

“Nothing,” replied the beggar. “Just an old box. I have been sitting on it for as long as I can remember.”

Ever looked inside?” asked the stranger.

“No,” said the beggar. “What’s the point? There’s nothing in there.”

“Have a look inside,” insisted the stranger.

The beggar managed to pry open the lid. With astonishment, disbelief, and elation, he saw that the box was filled with gold.

Source | Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now
(New World Library, 2004) page 11

PONDER AND CONSIDER

“Drink water from your own cistern, flowing water from your own well.” | Proverbs 5:15

The kingdom of God is inside you.” | Luke 17:21

Daily tap into the secret waters within. That’s where the treasure is. Many are still looking outside for scraps of pleasure, for happiness, validation, security, or love. Look inside. Take the plunge into the core of your being, and there, waiting for you, you will discover the radiant joy of being, radical peace and contentment.

As someone wisely said, “Never place the key to your happiness in someone else’s pocket.”

WITHOUT BATTING AN EYE

Once there was a general who was infamous for his viciousness.  He was brutal, without mercy.  He went to attack a very small village that lay in the path of his army.  Everyone in the village, knowing of the general’s reputation, ran away – everyone except one man  When the general entered the village, he found this one man sitting calmly under a tree.  So the general went to the man and said, “Do you know who I am, and do you know what I am capable of?  I can run my sword right through you without batting an eye!”  And the man said, “I know.”  Looking at the general, he continued, “But do you know who I am and what I am capable of?  I’ll let you do it … without batting an eye.”

Source | Paul Coutinho SJ, How Big is Your God
Loyola Press (November 1, 2010) page 31

PONDER AND CONSIDER

This is the difference between practicing religion and developing a living relationship with the Divine. How do we respond when we are attacked?  If our response is still an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth we’re not much better than the general.

But if our response is one of peace and reconciliation, then we offer a better alternative, and that response  can be disarming and a catalyst for change.

How?  If you want to change start by changing a thought, just one thought:  everything begins with a thought.  Change your thinking and you will be a changed person.  The thought will be expressed in your words, will affect your feelings, and will guide your behaviour.  And the words, feelings, and behaviours you send out into the world will affect and slowly transform the world around you.

  • Can you change just one thought?
  • Can you know who you are in your mind, in your consciousness, enough to think peace, act in peace, be peace … without batting an eye?

ALL ALONE OUTSIDE THE CAPITAL

Once upon a time there was a man who was against war.  He got many people excited about his mission and built a large organization to speak out against the war.  Eventually people got tired and gave up on him and the mission.  He ended up standing outside the capital with an anti-war poster all alone.

One day, a passerby, noticing the lone protestor,  walked up to him and asked him in a chiding voice: “Do you really think you’re going to change the world?”

The man replied: “No, but I hope by showing up, the world will not change me.” 

Source | Unknown

PONDER AND CONSIDER

  • Is it always good not to let the world change one or is it perhaps sometimes more courageous and even essential that we be changed by the world?

THE HERMIT AND THE MOUSE

Long ago, in a hermitage, there lived a great sage. One day, as he sat down to have his lunch, a mouse fell from the beak of a crow, on the ground near him. He picked the mouse up, took him inside the ashram and fed him some rice.

One day, the sage saw a cat chasing the mouse around the ashram. He was afraid that his pet mouse would be killed by the cat. By the power of his penance, he turned the mouse into a cat so that it could defend itself against other cats.

Soon a dog appeared on the scene and started barking at and chasing the cat. When the sage saw this, he changed the cat into a dog.

One day his dog was frightened by a tiger. The sage immediately changed his dog into a tiger, again by the power of his penance.

However, the sage always treated the tiger as if it was still his little mouse. Whenever the villagers who passed by the sage’s ashram saw the tiger, they would say, “Ha! That’s not a tiger! It’s just a mouse that the sage changed into a tiger. He won’t eat us or even scare us.”

When the tiger heard this, he was furious. “As long as the sage is alive,” he thought, “the truth about my real nature will never die. I must get rid of him for good.” The tiger decided to kill the sage.

But as soon as the sage saw him coming towards him, he knew what was going on in the tiger’s mind. He shouted, “Get back into your form of a mouse.” No sooner had he uttered these words than the tiger shrank and became a little mouse once again. The sage looked at him with pity and said, “Whatever one is, large or small, it’s good to be humble.”

Source | G.L. Chandiramani, The Hitopadesha: An Ancient Fabled Classic, page 230
See also: Marica Brown, Once a Mouse

PONDER AND CONSIDER

  • Whatever one is, large or small, big or little, a celebrity or not, it’s always goo to stay real, get off any sticky pedestal behaviour and be humble.