CAN IT GET ANY WORSE?

can-it-get-any-worse

A poor man lived with his wife and six children in a very small one-room house. They were always getting in each other’s way and there was so little space they could hardly breathe!

Finally the man could stand it no more. He talked to his wife and asked her what to do. “Go see the rabbi,” she told him, and after arguing a while, he went.

And so the poor man told the rabbi how miserable things were at home with him, his wife, and the six children all eating and living and sleeping in one room. The poor man told the rabbi, “We’re even starting to yell and fight with each other. Life couldn’t be worse.”

The rabbi thought very deeply about the poor man’s problem. Then he said, “Do exactly as I tell you and things will get better. Do you promise?”

“I promise,” the poor man said.

The rabbi then asked the poor man a strange question. “Do you own any animals?”

“Yes,” he said. “I have one cow, one goat, and some chickens.”

“Good,” the rabbi said. “When you get home, take all the animals into your house to live with you.”

The poor man was astonished to hear this advice from the rabbi, but he had promised to do exactly what the rabbi said. So he went home and took all the farm animals into the tiny one-room house.

The next day the poor man ran back to see the rabbi. “What have you done to me, Rabbi?” he cried. “It’s awful. I did what you told me and the animals are all over the house! Rabbi, help me!”

The rabbi listened and said calmly, “Now go home and take the chickens back outside.”

The poor man did as the rabbi said, but hurried back again the next day. “The chickens are gone, but Rabbi, the goat!” he moaned. “The goat is smashing up all the furniture and eating everything in sight!”

The good rabbi said, “Go home and remove the goat and may God bless you.”

So the poor man went home and took the goat outside. But he ran back again to see the rabbi, crying and wailing. “What a nightmare you have brought to my house, Rabbi! With the cow it’s like living in a stable! Can human beings live with an animal like this?”

The rabbi said sweetly, “My friend, you are right. May God bless you. Go home now and take the cow out of your house.” And the poor man went quickly home and took the cow out of the house.

The next day he came running back to the rabbi again. “O Rabbi,” he said with a big smile on his face, “we have such a good life now. The animals are all out of the house. The house is so quiet and we’ve got room to spare! What a joy!”

Source: Aaron Zerah, How the Children Became Stars:
A Family Treasury of Stories, Prayers and Blessings
from Around the World
Sorin Books
, 2000

CONSIDER THIS

  • Perspective is everything.  It is not what we see, but the way we see it. When we change the way we look at things, the things we look at change.
  • Most of us are just about as happy as we make up our minds to – Abraham  Lincoln
  • Think about your biggest complaint and what the rabbi would tell you if he heard it. Today, follow the rabbi’s advice.
  • Imagine you are the man in the story. At the end, what would you say to a friend who complained about how bad life was?
Advertisements

HOW THE PATH WAS FORGED

One day, a calf needed to cross a virgin forest in order to return to its pasture. Being an irrational animal, it forged out a tortuous path full of bends, up and down hills.

The next day, a dog came by and used the same path to cross the forest. Next it was a sheep’s turn, the head of a flock which, upon finding the opening, led its companions through it.

Later, men began using the path: they entered and left, turned to the right, to the left, bent down, deviating obstacles, complaining and cursing – and quite rightly so. But they did nothing to create a different alternative.

After so much use, in the end, the path became a trail along which poor animals toiled under heavy loads, being forced to go three hours to cover a distance which would normally take thirty minutes, had no one chosen to follow the route opened up by the calf.

Many years passed and the trail became the main road of a village, and later the main avenue of a town. Everyone complained about the traffic, because the route it took was the worst possible one.

Meanwhile, the old and wise forest laughed, at seeing how men tend to blindly follow the way already open, without ever asking whether it really is the best choice.

Source |  as found on Paolo Coelho

PONDER AND CONSIDER

  • When was the last time you questioned the paths you are on?

 

GET OFF THE NAIL

There was a young man walking down the street and happened to see a old man sitting on his porch. Next to the old man was his dog, who was whining and whimpering. The young man asked the old man “What’s wrong with your dog” The old man said “He’s laying on a nail”. The young man asked “Laying on a nail?, Well why doesn’t he get up?” The old man then replied “It’s not hurting bad enough.”

Source | Les Brown, Live Your Dreams
(William Morrow Paperbacks, July 1994) page 194

PONDER AND CONSIDER

There are two reasons people make changes in their lives: inspiration or desperation. In the final analysis what really matters is not what happened to you but what you are prepared to do about it. Are you going to  moan, groan, and complain, shrinking into fear or are you going to wake up, get up, and tap into the seeds of greatness and possibility within you?

  • “To have something you’ve never had, you have to be willing to do something you have never done.” | anon
  • “If you don’t make things happen then things will happen to you.” | Robert Collier
  • “Don’t find fault, find a remedy; anybody can complain.” | Henry Ford
  • “If you have time to whine and complain about something then you have the time to do something about it.” | Anthony J. D’Angelo

 

START WITH WHAT YOU HAVE

Homer and Emmy Lou were spending some time together on the front porch swing. Now Homer was very much in love with his beautiful Emmy Lou. However, he was shy and often had difficulty mustering up the courage to express his love in a physical way. Aware if his inability he spent a lot of time talking to her about it, expressing his affection with flowery words:

“Emmy Lou, if I had a thousand eyes, they would all be gazing at you.”
“Emmy Lou, if I had a thousand arms, they would all be hugging you”.
“Emmy Lou, if I had a thousand lips, they would all be kissing you!” 

One day Emmy Lou, having had enough and on the verge of losing her patience, looked at Homer and replied, “Homer, stop complaining about what you don’t have and start using what you do have!”

Source | Unknown

PONDER AND CONSIDER

  • How many opportunities to we miss, focusing on our inadequacies?
  • How often we end up doing nothing, imprisoned by the fear of failure?
  • The “If only I had… I would” mentality will never serve you well. Nor will it your family or society at large.
  • Stop complaining about what you don’t have and start using what you do have.

“Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can,  at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can.” | John Wesley