What Do You Own?

     A parable:  Three neighbors were talking when the subject of possessions came up.  "I own a huge mansion!" one proudly proclaimed.  "I own a successful farm!" said the second.  "I have optimism," the third said quietly.  His two neighbors laughed at him, for what good is a possession that cannot be seen or touched?

     That night a huge storm struck.  The storm destroyed the first neighbor's house.  "What am I to do?" he cried.  The storm ruined the second neighbor's crops.  "What will I do?" he lamented.  The storm also destroyed the third neighbor's home and farm.  "Hmmm, what should I do first?" he asked himself, and then he began doing it.  He rebuilt his home and replanted his crops.

     His neighbors had been sitting this entire time, feeling sorry for themselves.  But they watched their neighbor rebuild and they decided to ask him his secret.  "It is no secret," the man said.  "The only thing I own is what I think."  The two neighbors suddenly understood, and with the third neighbor's help, they rebuilt too.

     From then on, whenever they met, they did not talk about possessions.  They talked about their blessings, and they shared them, for what sense does it make to hold on to something you do not own?


-Excerpted from Fish! Tales: Real-Life Stories to Help You Transform Your Workplace and Your Life