Happiness Is Relative
A disciple was complaining to his Master:
“I am in desperate need of help, or I’ll go crazy. We’re living in a single room: my wife, my children and my in-laws. So our nerves are on edge, we yell and scream at each other. The room is a hell.”
“Do you promise to do whatever I tell you?” said the Master gravely.
“I swear I shall do anything.”
“Very well. How many animals do you have?”
“A cow, a goat and six chickens.”
“Take them all into the room with you. Then come back after a week.”
The disciple was appalled. But he had promised to obey! So he took the animals in.
A week later he came back, a pitiable figure, moaning, “I’m a nervous wreck. The dirt! The stench! The noise! We’re all on the verge of madness!”
“Go back,” said the Master, “and put the animals out.”
The man ran all the way home. And came back the following day, his eyes sparkling with joy.
“How sweet life is! The animals are out, the home is a paradise – so quiet and clean and roomy!”
Anthony de Mello, One Minute Wisdom