A while ago I came across a quote stating “If you are not actively looking for and fulfilling your mission here on life then it doesn’t really matter what else you are doing”. This idea is played out well in the following story about two wonderfully talented boys. One uses his talents and skills to bring him money and fame, the other uses his equally brilliant skills to serve and benefit those around him.
I love preserving the fruits of other labors (I would rather have them be the fruits of my labor but have yet to produce anything worth speaking of) but I am hopelessly uncreative in my attempts. For this cause, I am grateful for the many people willing to share their talents and skills to help bless my life. I have come to realize that the best life, is one that is lived around a community of people who love to share their talents to bless those around them and in tun bless themselves. As someone once said “when you hand out flowers, you can’t help but to have the scent linger upon yourself” I often wonder what my life would be like if everyone was more concerned about their own selves more than the world in general.
Below are two different stories that help illustrate this point
A holy man was having a conversation with the Lord one day and said, “Lord, I would like to know what Heaven and Hell are like.” The Lord led the holy man to two doors. He opened one of the doors and the holy man looked in.
In the middle of the room was a large round table. In the middle of the table was a large pot of stew which smelled delicious and made the holy man’s mouth water. The people sitting around the table were thin and sickly. They appeared to be famished. They were holding spoons with very long handles that were strapped to their arms and each found it possible to reach into the pot of stew and take a spoonful, but because the handle was longer than their arms, they could not get the spoons back into their mouths. The holy man shuddered at the sight of their misery and suffering. The Lord said, “You have seen Hell”.
They went to the next room and opened the door. It was exactly the same as the first one. There was the large round table with the large pot of stew which made the holy man’s mouth water.
The people were equipped with the same long-handled spoons, but here the people were well nourished and plump, laughing and talking. The holy man said, “I don’t understand.” “It is simple,” said the Lord, “it requires but one skill. You see, they have learned to feed each other, while the greedy think only of themselves.” When Jesus died on the cross he was thinking of you!
Two Equally Talented Boys, Two Differently Lived Lives
Once upon a time there were two incredibly intelligent and capable boys. Their wonderful talents were obvious from an early age, and they easily outdid everyone around. They had always known they were special, and they harboured inside them a desire that, in the future, everyone would come to admit how exceptional they were.
Each of them developed in a different way. The first used all his talent and intelligence to have a successful career and show everyone his superiority. He took part in all kinds of competitions, visited all the most important people and places, and was great at making friends in high places. Even when still very young, no one doubted that some day he would be the wisest and most important person in the land.
The second boy, equally aware of his own capabilities, never stopped feeling a heavy responsibility. He would do almost any task better than those around him, and he would feel obliged to help them. This didn’t leave him enough time to follow his own dreams of greatness. He was always busy looking for ways to more effectively help others. As a result, he was a much-loved and well-known person, but only in his own small circle.
Destiny was such that a great disaster struck that land, spreading problems and misery far and wide. The first of those brilliant young men had never come across anything like this, but his brilliant ideas worked successfully throughout the land, and they managed to slightly improve the situation. But the second young man was so used to solving all kinds of problems, and had such useful know-how in certain subjects, that the disaster hardly affected the people in his region at all. His admirable methods were then adopted across the land, and the fame of this good and wise man spread even more than had that of the first young man. Indeed, he was soon elected governor of the whole nation.
The first young man then understood that the greatest fame and wisdom is that which is born from the very things we do in life, from the impact they have on others, and from the need to improve ourselves every day. He never again took part in competitions or vain shows, and from then on, whenever he travelled, he took his books along with him, so he would be ready always to offer a helping hand to all.