We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. – Albert Einstein

Old Man’s Answer

A Sufi story. A man was sitting at the gate of a town, an old man. A rider stopped, a horse rider and asked him, ”what are the people of this town like?”

The old man asked, ”Why do you ask this?”

The rider said, ”The people of the town I have come from are very indecent. I was upset and disturbed by them. I had to leave that town. Now I want to become a resident of some new town. So I am asking you how the people of this town are.”

The old man said, ”Brother, you had better move on. The people of this town are even more vile, more wicked, more indecent. Here you will get into trouble, go look somewhere else.”

The rider moved on. Just behind him a bullock cart came to a halt and a man looked around and said, ”Grandfather, how are the people of this village? I am searching for a new residence.”

The old man asked again, ”How were the people of the village you have left?”

Tears came to the eyes of that man. He said, ”I didn’t want to leave, helplessly I had to leave. The people of that village were very loving. Now wherever I live the memory of those people will torment me. I was helpless, I was in economic difficulty. I had to leave it so that I can earn something, I need to try my luck somewhere else. But I have just one ambition that whenever my luck improves, I will return there. I will reside in that village, in the end I want to die in that village. If I cannot live there then at least I want to die there.”

That old man said, ”You are welcome. You will find the people of this village even more loving than the people of that village.”

A man was sitting there listening to all this. First he heard what the horse rider said and the old man’s answer. Then he heard what this man on the bullock cart said and the old man’s answer. The man said, ”You have really surprised me. You said to one man that this village is very vile and wicked, just move on. And to the other you said this village has very loving people, you have no need to go further, you are welcome! The old man explained, ”People are just the way you are. Everywhere men are the same. The real thing is your question.”

If you have a positive attitude and constantly strive to give your best effort, eventually you will overcome your immediate problems and find you are ready for greater challenges. – Pat Riley

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