by vickylass on July 5, 2012
I read that there are as many ways to reach happiness as there are people in the world. Yet, many of them are far from being happy. What about you?
My mother told once a tale about a king who was very sick. His doctors didn’t know what to do to get him to recover from his unknown illness, until on one day, one of them said that the king would be healthy again if they could find a happy man to lend him his shirt.
The king’s Court men started their journey to find this happy man. They travelled miles on end. In some places they found grief and squalor. “Ouch, there’s no way to find a happy man here!” the men exclaimed in horror. They went on journeying passing through villages and towns. In some of them, they had seen victims of serious plagues that had halved their population. In others, they had been flooded or they had had a bad drought that ruined their crops. “Shall we ever find this happy man to lend us his shirt?” “We might or we might not, but we’ve to go on searching. We’ve to save our king from death!”
These Court men couldn’t go back to the king’s palace without a happy man’s shirt.
Read more in Men
Years rolled on and they had journeyed miles and miles. They had found men that looked happy ones, but when they talked with them they found that they weren’t as happy as they looked. One had lost his wife or children in a flood. Another told them how drought had ruined his crops. Another said he would be happy if he could see the sunlight again or another who told them that he would smile again if his only son recovered from his illness. He could be happy if that happened. They thought that this one could be the happy man they were searching for. “But he says he would be happy if his son was healthy again” one of the Court men pointed out, “He isn’t the one we are searching for!”
The Court men were exhausted after such a long journey. They were about to give up when something happened that changed their mind.
“Look!” One of the men pointed out at a distance. “What?” “Look at that man!”
The man walked along a path. He seemed to have been working in the fields, because he carried his tools and he only wore a pair of old trousers. He was suntan and he whistled a merry tune as he walked towards his hut.
“He’s the one!”
“You’re joking! He’s walking to that hut!”
“Let’s follow him!”
The Court men followed the man. When this man arrived in his hut, he left his tools and went inside. A shabby curtain was his front door and a small dog slept by the door. The men dismounted their horses and walked to the front door. “We’re coming on behalf of our king!” they called him up.
The man went out and looked up at them. He offered them a seat and a swig of cold water. The men told him that the good king was very sick and doctors didn’t know how to cure him, but one of them said that he would be cured if he put on a happy man’s shirt.
“Are you happy?”
“How come? You live in a hut!”
“So what? Good enough to shelter in frosty nights or in torrid days!”
“Are you hungry or thirsty?”
“I am not! I’ve enough food there in the fields and clear water to drink. I’ve no need for more!”
“Aren’t you way too lonely?”
“I am alone, but I don’t feel lonely!”
The men went apart to discuss the matter. “He is!” they exclaimed in unison. “Let’s borrow him his shirt!
The man told them that he was happy. He had a roof over his head no matter how humble it was. He had a plot where he grew his food and he had a couple of hens to give them few eggs. He was happy, but he had no shirt to wear. At wintertime, he covered with his blanket, and in summer, he didn’t need one -it was way too hot.
Shall I have to add up more to this old tale? Alike the happy man who had no shirt, we don’t really need a lot more to be happy. The rest of our needs have been imposed on all of us. The problem arises when we say “I need” when in fact we don’t need what we are craving for.
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Cpopyright. Vcky Pino. 2012.