Estimated reading time: 2 minutes, 31 seconds
As promised in an earlier BLOG about building a cathedral, I am sharing another insight into who I am, and what I am all about.
As a glass is half full kind of guy, I often blurt, “There has got to be a pony in here somewhere” Here I lose people, because this fable is less well known than I thought. Here it is.
A man has two sons, one a hopeless pessimist and the other an unrealistic optimist. Determined to change their mindset to a less extreme position, the man buys a room full of toys for the pessimist and a room full of horse manure for the optimist. When he returns later, the pessimist is crying because his toys are already broken, or soon will be. In contrast, the optimist is happily shoveling through his gift, explaining, “With all that manure, there must be a pony in there somewhere.”
Here is what the story means to me.
If in fact you are dealing with what appears to be a steaming pile of dung, take a moment to think about this.
- First of all, recognize it for what it is.
- Then with the perspective of the unrealistic optimist, look for the pony! Will you find it right away? Unlikely, but it doesn’t hurt or cost anything to look.
The pony, I find, is often revealed to me in silent reflection after cleaning up, or while lying in bed awaiting slumber. Occasionally it comes years later when you are mentoring a son or daughter.
Let’s face it, life is not always fair. It is occasionally cruel and unkind. Like a friend getting diagnosed with a nasty form of cancer, or a long time coworker who dies suddenly. I struggle with making sense of it all. Rather than being crushed by the weight, though I choose to go looking for the pony.
Then I get a call out of the blue from the father of a child I cared for 6 years ago, she was nearly paralyzed from a serious auto accident I responded to. He thought I should know about a milestone in their lives. He told me that although she is only a 9th grader, she was the only one selected from her class to the High School soft ball team.
The point is that if you behave as if a pony exists out there, then by golly, you will eventually learn something either about life or yourself. With luck, your discovery will add meaning, purpose, peace, and direction.
May you all find your ponies, my friends.