When I was a guidance counselor in an elementary school I used to read a Yiddish folk tale to the students called "It could always be worse". the story begins with a man and his wife who live with their children in a small hut. The man goes to the rabbi to complain about the state of affairs in their small home and the rabbi tells him to go get a goat and two chickens and bring them into his house. Although the man questions the wisdom of this choice he does what his spiritual leader tells him to do, only to discover the small hut is now even more crowded than before. As you can probably guess this tale goes on until the house is teeming with farm animals and humans alike. It is at this point that the man goes back to the rabbi for the final time. The man throws up his hands and says says "Rabbi, I can't take it anymore. You have to do something or I will surely go crazy!"The rabbi very calmly tells the man to go back to his house, take all the animals out of his house and go back in. The man does as he is told (likely double time) and remarkably finds his house to be a quiet and safe haven.
The 3rd grade students to whom I read this story would often remark that the man simply realized that he didn't have it that bad in the first place. " he should have been grateful for what he had in the first place" was a common comment I often heard from these 8 year old students.
Yes indeed. What great modus operandi to live by!
It is easy to take the low road and complain about little things until things get worse or we see someone in more dire straits than we are. And then, if we are lucky, we realize it could always be worse.
Just for today my hope is that you are able to see all the good things you have in your life. And I wish for you no farm animals to be housed in your abode.
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