Friday, March 18, 2011

No Ordinary Art

We do not see things as they are.
We perceive them as we are.
~The Talmud

Jagger Rock (c) 2011.

There was an Italian farmer who lived in the Tuscan countryside. He had only his son to help him with the many chores attendant to farming. One day while out riding his horse, the son fell and broke his leg, leaving him bedridden and of no help to his father. “Oh no!” said the farmer, disappointed with his son’s carelessness. “This is bad! Who will help me milk the cows and tend the crops? This will surely bring ruin to our family.”

The next day, the general of the Italian military came by on horseback, looking for all able-bodied young men to take into battle. Because his leg was broken the General passed over the farmer’s son, leaving him to his bed rest. “Oh, yes!” said the farmer, “This is good . . . this is very good, indeed. Now my son will live.” And before long, the son’s leg had healed and he was back to work, helping tend the farm.

The parable of the Italian farmer is helpful in understanding that things are not always as they at first seem. Learning to remain open and fluid like water is no ordinary art.  But if we can temporarily suspend our judgment about what's going on around us, especially when in the midst of things, we may find that we've lost nothing by considering another possibility, yet what we've gained is great indeed.

Sit quietly and contemplate a time in your life where once you were convinced that a certain event was to your detriment, only later to discover its blessing.  Recall the moment that revealed the lesson.

What in your life now calls for a second look?

As you breathe, give thanks for your choice of perception.

1 comment:

JJ said...

Oh, if I could just accept what's around me, I'd be such a happy person. My discontent stirs me to action, however. And my action is usually much appreciated and yields a harvest. Clearly, however, the drama is my professional life where I can clock out at night and rest the old mind. Love the farmer's son story, though. Awesome remind of a larger, more important principle.