Now I had already prepared breakfast for the two of us, but that didn't stop me from looking around to see what else there was for me to catch. Seeing that I was eying a particularly large fly buzzing overhead, the Wise One spoke up. "Son," the Dharma Frog said, "the fatter the fly, the more frogs to eat it but, sometimes, the sweetest-tasting ones are the smallest." Honestly, I wasn't paying attention to him, I was intent on catching the big, fat, fly. It was the biggest one I'd ever seen! When, suddenly, out-of-nowhere, a tongue appeared and snatched the fly...MY fly... right out of the air. The Dharma Frog sighed.
"You weren't listening to me, were you, Irwin?" "No, Sir," I replied, a bit embarrassed for my lack of attention. "If you had been, my young frog," he said, "you'd have noticed the other frog waiting there, too, for that big bug. And both of you failed to see the group of smaller, tastier flies that were also flying about." I immediately started looking for them but they had, of course, long since flown off. I was left with nothing to eat and feeling a bit foolish.
Humans often do the same sort of thing. Maybe you've been at the market and seen a basket of lush, ruby-red strawberries that were as big as your fist. You, of course, grab those but, when you get home, you are disappointed to find that they are completely lacking in flavor. Now, had you picked up the basket with the smaller berries, you would have been pleasantly surprised to find that they were very sweet, and tasted like actual strawberries...not cardboard. Kids are the worst culprits of all. On Christmas morning, they quickly reach for the biggest box under the tree when, in fact, the best gift is in the teeny box that is nestled among the branches, high up. Bigger isn't always better. But it's the big, gaudy, shiny object that always grabs our attention first.
Life is just like that small gift. The "of-the-moment" hottest, greatest, and latest thing is what everyone wants. But that isn't what's going to fill our "tummy" with joy and lasting contentment. Those things aren't advertised on TV and in glossy magazines. They are found in the simple everyday things we encounter...and they're always free. The giggle of kids playing, the cloud formation that looks surprisingly like Aunt Irma, or the silly joke your colleague told to cheer you up when you found out you had to work late. These things are priceless. They are the teeny gifts that our inner being craves to receive. They are the human version of tiny, tasty flies.
The Dharma Frog forgave me for my inattention today and chalked it up to youth. And I forgave myself. I had, after all, learned the lesson he was trying to teach me. I learned it the hard way, but sometimes that's what it takes to get through to us. Life is a lesson. Often the lessons are easy, but more often than not, they are difficult and sometimes painful. The point is always the same, however, to learn from these lessons, to grow, to mature, and to feel better about ourselves and the decisions we make. Bigger is better when it comes to life. And to live a bigger, happier life, we need to see that good things do come in small packages.
I invite you all back tomorrow. Until then I wish you all peace...and many tiny flies.