22 Sep Happiness and caring for others
This week I’m pleased to bring you a slightly modified version of one of those stories that seem to find their way around the internet and into all of our inboxes. Now if you’re like me you may well find many of these mailings unfunny and useless time-wasters; but every now and then one comes along that’s inspirational, or at the very least thought provoking. I believe this is one of those and I hope you agree.
A mouse looked through the crack in the wall to see the farmer and his wife open a package. What food might this contain?” the mouse wondered. He was devastated to discover it was a mousetrap.
Retreating to the farmyard, the mouse proclaimed the warning. “There’s a mousetrap in the house! There’s a mousetrap in the house!”
The chicken clucked and scratched, raised her head and said, “Mr. Mouse, I can tell this is a grave concern to you, but it is of no consequence to me. I cannot be bothered by it.”
The mouse turned to the pig and told him, “There’s a mousetrap in the house! There’s a mousetrap in the house!”
The pig sympathized, but said, “I am so very sorry, Mr. Mouse, but there is nothing I can do about it but pray. Be assured you are in my prayers.”
The mouse turned to the cow and said, “There’s a mousetrap in the house! There’s a mousetrap in the house!”
The cow said, “Wow, Mr. Mouse. I’m sorry for you, but it’s no skin off my nose.”
So, the mouse returned to the house, head down and dejected, to face the farmer’s mousetrapê¢__‘Ô_alone; and that very night a sound was heard throughout the house, like the sound of a mouse trap catching its prey.
The farmer’s wife rushed to see what was caught. In the darkness, she did not see it was a venomous snake whose tail the trap had caught. The snake bit the farmer’s wife. The farmer rushed her to the hospital, and she returned home with a fever.
Now everyone knows you treat a fever with fresh chicken soup, so the farmer took his hatchet to the farmyard for the soup’s main ingredient. But his wife’s sickness continued, so friends and neighbours came to sit with her around the clock. To feed them, the farmer butchered the pig.
The farmer’s wife did not get well; she died. A great many people came for her funeral, so the farmer had the cow slaughtered to provide enough meat for all of them.
The mouse looked upon it all from his crack in the wall with great sadness.
So, the next time you hear someone is facing a problem and you think it doesn’t concern you remember that when one of us is threatened, we’re all at risk. We are all involved in this journey called life. We must keep an eye out for one another and make an extra effort to encourage one another.
Chris Peterson, one of the most respected academics in my field, was once asked to sum up positive psychology which he duly did in three words – other people matter!