A Businessman’s Tale
The rich industrialist from the North was horrified to find the Southern fisherman lying lazily beside his boat, smoking a pipe. “Why aren’t you out fishing?” said the industrialist. “Because I have caught enough fish for the day,” said the fisherman. “Why don’t you catch some more?” “What would I do with it?” “You could earn more money,” was the reply.
“With that, you could have a motor fixed to your boat and go into deeper waters and catch more fish. Then you would make enough to buy nylon nets. These would bring you more fish and more money. Soon you would have enough money to own two boats… maybe even a fleet of boats.
Then you would be a rich man like me.” “What would I do then?”
“Then you could really enjoy life.” “What do you think I am doing right now?”
The Secret Meditation
I set out in search of the source of the source of happiness.
I look minutely at the life of a happy person who is poor, then talk with him, attempting to discover what makes this person happy.
I think of a joyful person in poor health, in physical pain, and talk again, searching for what it is that makes her joyful.
I do the same with a happy person who has lost his reputation.
I walk into a prison and am amazed to find a happy person even here. She tells me what it is that makes her happy.
Then I observe unhappy people who are free and wealthy, powerful, respectable. I talk to them, and as they talk to me I listen carefully to their complaints. Yesterday I had occasions to be happy that I wasn’t even conscious of.
I see them now.
It is inconceivable that anyone could be grateful and unhappy. I thank the Lord for each event of yesterday and notice the effect this has on me.
And the things I call unpleasant, undesirable —I search for the good that comes from these… the seeds for growth they carry… and find reason to be grateful for them, too.
Finally I see myself moving through each portion of today in gratitude —and happiness.
Anthony De Mello’s Stop Fixing Yourself