Long ago in a small, far away village, there was place known as the House of Ten Thousand Mirrors. A small, happy little dog learned of this place and decided to visit.
When he arrived, he bounced happily up the stairs to the doorway of the house. He looked through the doorway with his ears lifted high and his tail wagging as fast as it could. To his great surprise, he found himself staring at 1000 other happy little dogs with their tails wagging just as fast as his. He smiled a great smile, and was answered with 1000 great smiles just as warm and friendly. As he left the House, he thought to himself, “This is a wonderful place. I will come back and visit it often.”
In this same village, another little dog, who was not quite as happy as the first one, decided to visit the house. He slowly climbed the stairs and hung his head low as he looked into the door. When he saw the 1000 unfriendly looking dogs staring back at him, he growled at them and was horrified to
see 1000 little dogs growling back at him. As he left, he thought to himself, “That is a horrible place, and I will never go back there again.”
All the faces in the world are mirrors. What kind of reflections do you see in the faces of the people you meet?
A similar story comes from India. There were two mountains and there were ants living of each of them. One mountain was made of salt, the other of sugar. One day an ant from the sugar mountain visited the other mountain. Tasting the salt he did not find it to his liking and said to an ant there: “Come over to my mountain and taste something good.” So the ant went. But since she was not sure about the food over there she took along some reserve, storing a particle of salt in her mouth.
When she tasted the sugar she said: “I don’t find very much difference between your stuff and mine.” The other ant said: “Perhaps you are holding something of your own within. Get rid of that and I am sure you will see for yourself that the taste of my food is good.” When she did this the salt-fed ant never went back to her salt mountain again.
What is within determines what is outside. At the same time we have to be constantly vigilant not to let the outside determine the inside. This is why the story of the three frogs is so enlightening.
Three young frogs were out one day exploring their environment. They came to the dairy and bold as brass entered to investigate. There was a bucket and eager to know more about it, two of them jumped right into it. Splash!
The third being ever so slightly more timid only jumped onto the top rim of the bucket and looked
down at his two comrades struggling below to jump out of a white substance. Neither he nor they knew it was milk!
After some failed attempts, he shouted down to them, “You’ll never make it. Face facts and prepare to die!” But since self-preservation is the first rule of life, they continued to struggle for as long as possible. The frog on top continued to shout down, “You’ll never make it. Give up and die peacefully”.
Unfortunately one of the two struggling frogs could not continue and disappeared below the surface never to be seen again. The one remaining continued despite the discouragement of his comrade on top of the bucket. After a short while his feet had a soft yellow substance to stand on. He had made butter out of the cream on top of the milk. No sooner had he enough for a foothold than he positioned himself and jumped clean out of the bucket!
When rejoined by his comrade he thanked him profusely for all the encouragement he shouted down to him. He would never have made it without his help. The frog who survived was deaf!
Being deaf to negative disparagement is a gift we all need to acquire. Life is a lesson. Learn it. Read this one!
Once upon a time there was a non conforming sparrow who decided not to fly south for the winter. However, the weather soon turned so cold that he reluctantly started to fly south. In a short time ice began to form on his wings and he fell to the earth in a barnyard, almost frozen. A cow passed by and crapped on the little sparrow. The sparrow thought it was the end !!!
But, the manure warmed him and defrosted his wings. Warm and happy, able to breathe, he started to move himself. Just then, a large cat came by and seeing the movement, cleared away the manure, found the chirping bird and promptly ate him.
The moral of the story? One, not everyone who craps on you is necessarily your enemy. Two, not everyone who gets you out of the crap is necessarily your friend. And three, when you are under a pile of crap, do not move!
(c) Fr. Pius Sammut, OCD. Permission is hereby granted for any non-commercial use, provided that the content is unaltered from its original state, if this copyright notice is included.