An aging master grew tired of his apprentice complaining, and so, one morning, he sent him to get a bag of salt. When the apprentice returned, the master instructed the unhappy young man to put a handful of salt in a glass of water and then to drink it. The young apprentice looked at the master as a lost puppy as he did not understand the purpose of it all. But still the apprentice did as the master said. “How does it taste?” the master asked.
“Bitter” said the apprentice as he spit out the water.
The master chuckled and then asked the young man to take a walk with him to the lake and to take the bag of salt with them. When they arrived at the lake the master told the apprentice to put a handful (same amount) of salt in the lake as he did before into the glass. The apprentice did as he was told without any questions. “Now drink from the lake,” said the master.
The apprentice did as he was told. As the water dripped down the young man’s chin, the master asked, “How does it taste?” “Fresh,” remarked the apprentice. “Do you taste the salt?” asked the master. “No,” said the young man.
Now the master was happy and explained the meaning of this experience to the young apprentice, “The pain of life is pure salt; no more, no less. The amount of pain in life remains the same, exactly the same. But the amount of bitterness we taste depends on the container we put the pain in. So when you are in pain, the only thing you can do is to enlarge your sense of things …. stop being a glass. Become a lake.”
Lessons from this story:
- We all face hard times at some point in our lives, but how we view them and how much meaning we give them will determine how much they will hinder us.
- At this moment your problem can seem hard and impossible to overcome, but once you take some time and “step back” you will see that it is not.
- You don’t have to solve everything at once. Step by step you will get there.
Are there any lessons I missed from this story? Please let me know in the comment section.
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