The Desire of an old woman and her husband
A fictitious tale......with a moral.
An old woman and her husband who gained their living as woodcutters worked hard together to collect two bundles of wood every day. They sold one bundle in the market and kept the other to warm themselves.They lived in poverty but nevertheless expected to get a little more rice that year, perhaps new roofing next year and a bullock in three years.
However they were constantly complaining bitterly about their fate.
One day while on way to the forest, by chance they met a saintly person, which was indeed a rare stroke of luck for them.The a saintly person offered them the choice: "In my left hand, there is a treasure, so you can pay for whatever you desire. On my right hand: there is temperance, or the virtue of moderation of desire."
Realising that such an opportunity came only once in a lifetime, the husband chose the left hand without the least hesitation. As for temperance, until then he had practised it copiously and that would suffice. Because of the money, the wife wished to have tastier food; each evening for a year they paid for exquisite cuisine. But very soon, observing that they could never serve themselves with all the existing dishes they gave up.
Thereafter they thought of repairing their house."But why should we be content with a room when we can afford to pay for a beautiful house?" said the husband. Therefore they called all the architects of the region and each of them offered different models, plans and material... so much so, that even at the end of a year the two old people could not make their choice.
Wanting to spend their money, they recalled that they wanted to have their own bullock. "Why only one?" asked the husband. "We can buy an entire flock." But there also, the breeds of cattle were numerous, and the couple could not decide which one of the breeds or cross-breeds were the best.
The life of the two old people became a disaster, every new desire effaced the older and they exhausted their desires without the ability to fullfil them.
At that time the saintly person re-appeared before them, and told them "You fools! you already had temperance. Where then was the necessity to go after the treasure ?"
Knowing how to regulate your desire is the greatest wealth you can ask for, because by its nature desire is unsatisfying. It is better to be satisfied with a little than to always desire more and more and obtain nothing.
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