THE FOLLY OF MINDING ONE’S OWN BUSINESS

A group of people were travelling in a boat. One of them took a drill and began to drill a hole beneath himself.

His companions said to him: “Why are you doing this?” Replied the man: “What concern is it of yours? Am I not drilling under my own place?”

Said they to him: “But you will flood the boat for us all!”

Here’s a slightly different version:

A group of people are sitting in a boat. One takes an axe and begins chopping at the floor. The others cry in horror, “What are you trying to do?’ The man answers, ‘What business is it of yours? I am doing this to my part of the boat!”

Source | Vayikra Rabba 4:6

CONSIDER THIS

The moral of this story is clear: one person’s destructive action may literally drown the entire community. But we might add that the inverse is also true: a single positive change may transform an entire community.

  • What holes have you been boring in your life, thinking, ‘It’s only my seat’?
  • Are you willing to take a look at how they are affecting the lives of others, especially the ones you love?

OBSTACLES ON OUR PATH

In ancient times, a King had a boulder placed on a roadway. Then he hid himself and watched to see if anyone would remove the huge rock. Some of the king’s wealthiest merchants and courtiers came by and simply walked around it. Many loudly blamed the King for not keeping the roads clear, but none did anything about getting the stone out of the way.

Then a poor farmer came along carrying a load of vegetables. Upon approaching the boulder, the he laid down his burden and tried to move the stone to the side of the road. After much pushing and straining, he finally succeeded After the farmer picked up his load of vegetables, he noticed a purse lying in the road where the boulder had been. The purse contained many gold coins and a note from the King indicating that the gold was for the person who removed the boulder from the roadway.

PONDER AND CONSIDER

  • Between the great things we cannot do and the small things we will not do, the danger is that we shall do nothing. | Adolph Monod
  • The farmer learned what many others never understand, that every obstacle, every single crisis, the storms in life and all experiences of adversity present an opportunity for growth.
  • In life, we are presented with similar obstacles. Whether we blame someone for it and complain about it or like the farmer we take responsibility for it is a matter of choice. If we are wise and take up responsibility for the obstacles presented to us, we are sure to “find gold” once the obstacle is gone!