"Good morning, Tadpole. It's a lovely day, my young friend, but I must say you look a bit frazzled." "Well, Dharma, to tell you the truth, I have been running myself a bit ragged lately. Does it show?" "Dharma smiled and replied, "Yes, Irwin. You're looking a bit haggard. I think this might be the perfect topic for our lesson today. A frog's candle that burns twice as bright, burns half as long." About then, the timer went off on my oven. I pulled out the nicely warmed breakfast, poured out tea, and as we sat to down eat, my lesson began.
"Son, do you understand what I'm trying to tell you? Your friends the humans might say something like 'Rome wasn't built in a day' or 'Slow and steady wins the race.' They often use the classic Hare and Tortoise fable to illustrate the point. But instead of a rabbit, it could just as well have been a frog."
As we ate, Dharma explained to me that rushing around, trying to do too much, often accomplishes less. And the work we do put out isn't always our best quality. There are times in our lives, certainly, where we find we need to hurry a bit more. Humans like to talk about the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, for example, but rushing all the time is a good way to burn oneself out. Whether it's studying too much, working long hours at the job, or spending too much time at the gym trying to achieve the perfect body, we may see temporary gains but in the long-run, we often wind up feeling fatigued and wasted. When we don't intersperse relaxation and joy into our daily activities, life passes us by. The simple pleasure of "stopping to smell the roses" is what makes our time here on Earth pleasurable. But we miss out on these things when we rush to accomplish too much too quickly.
Working slowly and deliberately, taking the time to enjoy each task will not only get us to the finish line but we'll arrive there feeling less stressed and more refreshed....just like the tortoise. As for the hare, sure he had time to take a nap but in the end, his rushing to get ahead of the tortoise didn't get him the win he was so sure he'd achieve. Whatever difficulties we have in life and whatever hurdles we face, we can still finish as big winners by taking the time necessary to enjoy the journey, learn from our mistakes, and to see our obstacles as opportunities rather than hindrances, each of us will be happier, more productive, and probably accomplish more than we ever thought we could. Rome wasn't built in a day. If it was, the Colosseum, Spanish Steps, and the Roman Forum wouldn't still be will us today. I'll take quality over quantity any day!
Dharma hung around this morning and helped me clean up. As we were washing the dishes, he asked me if I would promise him that I'd spend more time relaxing. I agreed. I know I often try to do too much and then I feel rushed and tired. As soon as he left, I put my usual morning routine on hold and called my mom. I made plans to spend some quality time this weekend hangin' out with my younger brother, and enjoying the love and companionship of my parents. Life is good when you slow down and take a little time to enjoy the simple pleasures. The hurried frog would well to hop beside his turtle friend rather than try to get ahead.
I hope to see you back here tomorrow. Until then, I wish you