A Spoonful of Cheer
Once, a king sent his son to learn about the recipe for constant happiness from a cheerful sage. To the prince’s surprise, the sage was nothing like a traditional sage at all! He lived in a beautiful castle, buzzing with action. Tradesmen came and went, a small orchestra played soft music, and tables lay covered with delicious platters. The cheerful man animatedly conversed with everyone and the prince had to wait several hours for his turn. The man listened to the boy’s curiosity and replied that he didn’t have the time to address the prince’s concerns just then. He asked the boy to explore the palace’s beauty and return in two hours. He also gave him a teaspoon which had two drops of oil in it. “As you wander around, carry this spoon with you without allowing the oil to spill”, the sage ordered.
The boy strolled through the many corridors of the palace, keeping his eyes fixed on the spoon. After two hours, he returned to the cheerful man. “Well”, asked the sage, “did you notice the Persian embroideries, the blossoming gardens and the beautiful parchments in the library?”
Embarrassed, the boy confessed that he had observed nothing. His only concern had been not to spill the oil.
“Then go back and observe the marvels of my world but remember to take the spoon with you”, said the cheerful man. Relieved, the boy picked up the spoon and returned to his exploration, this time more conscious about the surroundings. He observed the magnificent art, the mountainous view, and the beauty of the flowers. Upon returning to the sage, he described everything he had seen in great detail. “But where are the drops of oil I entrusted to you?” asked the cheerful man.
Looking down at the spoon he held, the boy saw that the oil was gone. ”There is only one piece of advice I can give you,“ said the cheerful man, “The secret of being happy is to see all the marvels of the world, and yet never forget the drops of oil in the spoon.”
The wise sage’s lesson carries timeless value. A cheerful home or workplace is one where all members, be it one’s family or one’s colleagues, understand the value of working hard and playing hard. The constituents of such an entity smile a lot 🙂.