I was waiting in a medical clinic this week and they had a copy of “Fish Tales” a book based on the remarkable company culture at the Seattle Fish Market.

As I flicked through the pages, I came across this great story:

Three neighbouring farmers were talking when the subject of possessions came up.

“I own a huge mansion!” one proudly proclaimed.

“I own a successful farm!” said the second.

“I have optimism,” the third said quietly.

His two neighbours laughed at him, for what good is a possession that cannot be seen or touched?

That night a huge storm struck.

The storm destroyed the first neighbour’s house.

“What am I to do?” he cried.

The storm ruined the second neighbour’s crops.

What will I do?” he lamented.

The storm also destroyed the third neighbour’s home and farm.

“Hmmm, what should I do first?” he asked himself and then he proceeded to rebuild his home and replant his crops.

His neighbours had been sitting around feeling sorry for themselves as they watched the third farmer rebuild, so they decided to ask him his secret to bouncing back so quickly.

“It is no secret,” the man said.  “The only thing I own is what I think.”

The two farmers suddenly understood, and with the third neighbour’s help, they rebuilt too.

From then on, whenever they met, they did not talk about possessions.  They talked about their blessings and shared them with each other, because they now realised that there’s little point in holding on to something that you do not own.

I loved this story (and it was timely for me to read), as it reminded me that whatever circumstances come our way, if we are able to maintain an optimistic and hope-filled perspective, we’re doing OK.

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