The Two Neighbors

kirkThere once lived two neighbors in a small village. One was a very poor farmer, and the other was a very wealthy man. The farmer worked very hard, yet he was always very relaxed and happy, had lots of company visiting his home, and he never locked his doors or windows. Although he was poor, he lived a very happy, peaceful life.

The wealthy man, on the other hand, was always very tense and worried. He never invited company over and always had his house locked up tight day and night. He didn’t sleep very well in fear that someone would break in and steal all his money. He envied the peaceful life the farmer lived without worrying about his possessions, so one day he brought the farmer a very large amount of cash and said, “I am blessed with wealth and want you to live in prosperity as I do.”

The farmer was thrilled with this gift but wasn’t quite sure what to do with it. He went home and turned away visitors, and locked up his house with his new fortune. That night he couldn’t sleep, in fear that someone would steal his money. He paced back and forth in his home, worrying about how to protect his money. Early the next morning, he brought the cash back to the wealthy man and said, “I appreciate your gift, but this money took away peace and happiness from me, so I need to give it back.”

Here’s the way I see it: Mandy Hale once said it best, “Happiness is letting go of what you think your life is supposed to look like and enjoying it for everything that it is.”

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The Peacock and the Crow

kirkA happy crow lived in the forest and never complained about his life until one day, when he saw a swan. “That swan is so white,” he thought, “and I am so black. This swan must be the happiest bird in the world.” He told the swan how he felt, and the swan replied, “Actually, I was very content with myself until I saw a parrot with his pretty colors. I’m convinced that that parrot is the happiest bird in creation.” The crow then approached the parrot, who said, “I lived a very happy life until I saw a peacock. I have only two colors, but the peacock has multiple colors.”

The crow then visited a peacock in the zoo and saw a crowd of people gathered to see him. After the crowd left, the crow said to the peacock, “You are so beautiful. Every day thousands of people come to see you. But when people see me, they immediately shoo me away. You must be the happiest bird on the planet.”

The peacock sadly replied, “Because of my beauty, I am entrapped in this zoo. However, if I was a crow like you, I could happily roam everywhere.”

Here’s the way I see it: Mark Twain once said it best, “Comparison is the death of joy.” And remember, the happiest people don’t have the best of everything. They make the best of everything they have.