Community//

Eat the Cherries!

Remember... Every day is a gift, and the quality of your life is your gift to yourself.

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Many years ago, I was on a commercial airline “puddle jumper” from Scranton to Philadelphia. There were eight seats and we shared the cabin with the pilot and co-pilot. To make matters worse, the weather looked like something out of the Wizard of Oz. The flight was bumpy and filled with sudden drops. I was very nervous, no, make that scared!

As we approached Philadelphia, things got worse. The pilot informed us that the weather was so bad we would not be able to land until things improved.

So there I was, white knuckled, holding onto my seat for dear life. I found myself staring out the window into a solid sheet of grey clouds. I was truly afraid. I sat there looking for BIG planes to come plowing into us; as if my knowing would change anything.

This went on for thirty minutes. My anxiety level was off the charts. I was so worried about all the scenarios that might occur. The fear and anxiety grew worse and worse.

Then, out of nowhere a story that I heard when I was in an Eastern Philosophy class popped into my mind.

The story was about a monk that lived in a monastery that sat on a bluff three thousand feet above the valley. Every day, the monk would go for a walk along the edge of the bluff.

One day, a hungry tiger came out of the woods and saw the monk. He started moving toward him. The monk spotted the approaching tiger. He knew the tiger intended to eat him.

Behind him was the valley below. In front of him was the hungry tiger.

He noticed a cherry tree growing out of the side of the bluff, about ten feet below the edge. The monk dropped down to the tree. There he sat, a hungry tiger and certain death above him, the valley floor and certain death below him.

What did the monk do?

He ate and enjoyed the cherries!

LESSONS FROM THE STORY

  • 2020 is filled with many challenges!
  • Worry will not change the outcome.
  • Choose to live in the now (Eat the cherries).
  • Live life to the fullest.

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People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

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