I had a delightful visit with a friend yesterday as we shared our struggles, dreams and hopes for the future. Our conversation shifted onto the topic of life lessons and how if we don’t learn from the lesson, it reappears over and over until we do. Along the way, we are given clues and sometimes a helping hand to help us overcome the lesson. For example, a person comes into our lives when we need them; we find information that inspires us when searching for something completely different; or sometimes we simply have clarity about a situation that allows us to move forward.
As we move through life and aspire to work for the greatest good, we may encounter obstacles or we may find that everything flows with ease. In my experience, we need to pay attention to the paths that flow while learning from the paths strewn with obstacles.
My friend recounted one of Aesop’s Fables that illustrates this lesson. It goes something like this:
A man was walking down a path. He was wearing a long cloak that was fashionable for the time.
The sun and the north wind watched the man from the sky. The sun said, “I bet I can make that man take off his cloak first.” The north wind rose to the challenge and said, “No, I will make the man take off his cloak first.”
The north wind started to blow and the man brought his hand to his neck clutching his cloak to keep warm. The wind blew harder and harder, so the man held onto his cloak more tightly to protect himself from the fierce, north wind. Finally, the north wind stopped blowing.
The sun smiled and said, “Now, it’s my turn.”
The sun shone gently down on the man. As the man walked , he became warm from the sun and took off his cloak.
The moral of the story is that the the greatest strength is gentleness. Sometimes working harder, faster, longer is not always the answer. Pay attention to the areas in your life that flow and bring you joy – your path lies here.