Tuesday, December 22, 2009

A Parable on Perspective

The father of a very wealthy family sent his son on a trip to the country with the express purpose of showing him how poor people live, and perhaps giving him more appreciation for his own opulent circumstances.

The son spent several days and nights on the farm of what would be considered a very poor family.

Upon his return, the father asked his son, “How did you like the trip?”

“It was great, dad.”

“Did you see how poor people live?” the father asked.

“Oh yeah!” said the son.

“So, tell me, what did you learn from the trip?” asked the father.

The son answered: “I saw that we have one dog and they have four. We have a pool that reaches to the middle of our garden and they have a creek that has no end. We have imported lanterns in our garden and they have the stars at night. Our patio reaches to the front yard and they have the whole horizon. We have a small piece of land to live on and they have fields that go beyond our sight. We have servants who serve us, but they serve others. We buy our food, but they grow theirs. We have walls around our property to protect us, they have friends to protect them.”

The boy’s father was speechless.

Then his son added, “Thanks, Dad, for showing me how poor we are.”

There is much we can learn from this little tale (which a friend shared with me). Decide for yourself how it applies to you.

Here's the "Bike Nazi" spin...

Motorists, as a rule, look upon other forms of transportation as undesirable... fit only for those whose pathetic circumstances don't afford the luxury of a single-occupant motor vehicle (with heated seats and climate control).

(Am I wrong?)

As I rode the bus this morning, I reflected on how nice it is to have somebody else - a trained professional driver - maneuvering those slushy, crowded roads. No windshield to scrape; no reason for a pre-departure warm-up ritual. No gas to buy, no insurance, no maintenance, no depreciation expense.

When I ride my bike, I'm particularly rich! (Both with money-staying-in-pocket and otherwise.) Health-enhancing exercise! Good scenery, often with nature encompassing on every side. No traffic jams - EVER! (What is that alone worth?)

I should be more grateful to motorists... they help me keep things in perspective and realize how blessed I am to not be one of them!


Clancy said...

Thanks, this post is very insightful and relevant to both bikes and the holiday season.

D. Forestal said...

Hear hear!

Scott said...

Ditto for the train. Sleep, read, listen to music, look at cute chicks. It's not as nice as being on the bike, but it beats the heck out of staring at the car in front of me.

Jamie said...

I love lines of thought like this that turn the conventional wisdom or opinion on its head.

I laugh at the people who get to work complaining about traffic, knowing that I didn't even notice it.

I laugh at people who talk about how little time they have to work out, knowing that I've worked my exercise into my day seamlessly.

I laugh at people who complain about how hot or cold it is, knowing that my frequent exposure to the elements leaves me more adaptable and comfortable in almost any weather.

I laugh at people who whine about gas prices, knowing that I haven't looked at gas prices with any level of concern in more than five years.

I laugh a lot...