Thursday, April 1, 2010

The King and His Wise Friend

I read this recently and was reminded to choose to think positively:

An old story is told of a king in Africa who had a close friend with whom he grew up. The friend had a habit of looking at every situation that ever occurred in his life (positive or negative) and remarking, “This is good!”

One day the king and his friend were out on a hunting expedition. The friend would load and prepare the guns for the king. The friend had apparently done something wrong in preparing one of the guns, for after taking the gun from his friend, the king fired it and his thumb was blown off. Examining the situation the friend remarked as usual, “This is good!” To which the king replied, “No, this is NOT good!” and proceeded to send his friend to jail.

About a year later, the king was hunting in an area that he should have known to stay clear of. Cannibals captured him and took him to their village. They tied his hands, stacked some wood, set up a stake and bound him to the stake. As they came near to set fire to the wood, they noticed that the king was missing a thumb. Being superstitious, they never ate anyone that was less than whole. So untying the king, they sent him on his way.

As he returned home, he was reminded of the event that had taken his thumb and felt remorse for his treatment of his friend. He went immediately to the jail to speak with his friend. “You were right,” he said, “it was good that my thumb was blown off.” And he proceeded to tell the friend all that had just happened. “And so I am very sorry for sending you to jail for so long. It was bad for me to do this.”

“No,” his friend replied, “This is good!” “What do you mean, ‘This is good’? How could it be good that I sent my friend to jail for a year?” His friend responded: “If I had NOT been in jail, I would have been with you!”

Great story and it definitely relates to me. When you are a counselor, you live with the fact that some people make appointments with you and then cancel late or don't show up. I have talked to doctors, dentists, optometrists and it is all the same. Because it is unethical to double book (at least I think so), it ends up costing you time and money. Especially as a beginning therapist this can get you down. Now I choose to think "this is good" whenever I get a no show or late cancellation. I try to use that time, focusing on the positives that I wouldn't have if my appointment had happened instead of on the things I lost because it didn't (money, the inconvenience of my time, having to reschedule). How about you? Are there times you need to choose to see the positive instead of getting stuck on the negative? It's not that the negative doesn't exist, it certainly does, and sometimes it is inevitable that we will get stuck there. However getting stuck in it won't help make you life one iota better then it is now. But focusing on the positive almost certainly will. . .

1 comment:

Michele said...

My sentiments exactly!