I wanted to share some ancient Chinese wisdom that demonstrates so well something I do often bang on about in workshops, so here goes…
The story of The Stonecutter
There was once a stonecutter, who was dissatisfied with himself and with his position in life.
One day. He passed a wealthy merchant’s house and through the open gateway, saw many fine possessions and important visitors. “How powerful that merchant must be!” thought the stonecutter. He became very envious, and wished that he could be life the merchant. Then he no longer would have to live the life of a mere stonecutter.
To his great surprise, he suddenly became the merchant, enjoying more luxuries and powers that he had ever dreamed of, envied and detested by those less wealthy than himself. But soon a high official passed by, carried in a sedan chair, accompanied by attendants, and escorted by soldiers beating gongs. Everyone, no matter how wealthy, had to bow low before the procession. “How powerful that official is!” he thought. “I wish that I could be a high official!”
Then he became the high official, carried everywhere in his embroidered sedan chair, feared and hated by the people all around, who had to bow down before him as he passed. It was a hot summers day, and the official felt very uncomfortable in the sticky sedan chair. He looked up at the sun. It shone proudly in the sky, unaffected by his presence. “How powerful the sun is!” he thought “I wish I could be the sun!”
Then he became the sun, shining fiercely down on everyone, scorching the fields, cursed by the farmers and labourers. But a huge black cloud moved between him and the earth, so that his light could no longer shine on everything below. “How powerful that storm cloud is!” he thought “I wish that I could be the wind!”
Then he became the wind, blowing tiles off the roofs of houses, uprooting trees, hated and feared by all below him. But after a while, he ran up against something that would not move, no matter how forcefully he blew against it – a huge towering stone. “How powerful that stone is!” he thought “I wish that I could be that stone!”
Then he became the stone, more powerful than anything else on earth. But as he stood there, the heard the sound of a hammer pounding a chisel into the solid rock, and felt himself changed. “What could be more powerful that I, the stone?” he thought. He looked down and saw far below him the figure of a stonecutter.
Have a wonderful Thursday,
Much love to you Debbie xoxox
P.s this story is from the gorgeous book ‘The Tao of Pooh and the Te of Piglet’. I read this book years ago in my 20’s and although I read it, I’m not sure I took it in. I believe I would have saved my self a lot of heartache in many areas of my life, if I had read and implemented the lessons in this book.
Have you read it? I would thoroughly recommend it!