Great Wisdom

We have a rule at our house - which I'm not always good at following - that if G-Man wants to watch a movie, we have to read three books together first. I invoked the rule today (I'm trying to be better about such things), and instead of letting him choose the three books, I went and grabbed three of the new books we got for Christmas.  Including this one:

Zen Shorts had been recommended long ago by my friend Natalie, and I finally found it at a bookstore while simultaneously remembering that it was a recommended book. (Hooray for my brain!)

G-Man and I read it this afternoon, and we loved it. And it had a great lesson for me today. One of those jump-off-the-page-this-story-is-for-you lessons.

In the book, a panda named Stillwater tells parables to three siblings to help ease tensions between them. The last story was for the youngest brother, who had been angry with his older brother all day. Stilwater tells the boy a story called "A Heavy Load."

The story is about two traveling monks who happen upon a young woman being carried in a chair by her two servants. It had been raining, and the woman couldn't step out of her chair without ruining her robes. And since her servants were carrying her packages, and carrying her chair, they couldn't help her get out of the chair without getting her and the packages wet. So there they all stood.

The younger monk notices the woman and walks by. But the older monk quickly picks her up, puts her on his back and transports her across the water and puts her down on the other side. The woman doesn't thank the older monk, but instead shoves him out of the way and departs.

Now, to quote the end of the story:

"As they continued on their way, the young monk was brooding and preoccupied. After several hours, unable to hold his silence, he spoke out. "That woman back there was very selfish and rude, but you picked her up on your back and carried her! Then she didn't even thank you!"

"I set the woman down hours ago," the older monk replied. "Why are you still carrying her?"

I'm a carrier sometimes. I try not to be, but I am. This story was such a good reminder to lay some of those things down so I can continue on my journey without that weight. Are there things you are carrying that are unnecessary emotional burdens? Let's agree to stop carrying them for a while, shall we?

Happy weekend to you all!