I have heard each and every one of these stories over the course of my life at exactly the right moment that I needed to hear them, and all three of them have been reappearing in my world lately so I wanted to share them with you. Some of you may know them, others not, but allow them to pass their wisdom on to you.

 
love
The Greek philosopher Aristophanes offers a story dealing with human nature and the human condition:
Human beings were once spherical, with eight limbs like an octopus, four arms and four legs, one head with two faces and four ears and two sets of genitals, male or female or both, so that there were any one of three kinds: male-male, male-female, and female-female.
One day they offended the gods and to punish them Zeus cut them in half, scattering the two severed halves in opposite directions. Since that day, we are always searching for our other half. When a half meets its other half, each is overcome by Eros and each delights in being with the other.
The reason for this is not, or at least not merely, a desire for sexual intercourse: on the contrary, the soul of each wishes for something it cannot put into words. Lovers desire to live a common life and die a common death, to become One again, in a complete and lasting union. The reason for this is our ancient nature: we were once a unified Whole.
‘Eros’ Aristophanes tells us, ‘Is the desire and pursuit of Wholeness’.
 

 
wealth
No-one seems to know where this story originated  but it is certainly a touching tale that we can all identify with:
The businessman was at the pier of a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. Inside the small boat were several large yellowfin tuna. The businessman complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them. The Mexican replied only a little while.
The businessman then asked why he didn’t stay out longer and catch more fish? The Mexican said he had enough to support his family’s immediate needs. The businessman then asked, but what do you do with the rest of your time? The Mexican fisherman said, “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take a siesta with my wife, Maria, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine and play guitar with my amigos; I have a full and busy life, señor.”
The businessman scoffed, “I am a Harvard MBA and I could help you. You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds buy a bigger boat. With the proceeds from the bigger boat you could buy several boats; eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman, you would sell directly to the processor and eventually open your own cannery. You would control the product, processing and distribution. You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then LA and eventually New York City where you would run your expanding enterprise.”
The Mexican fisherman asked, “But señor, how long will this all take?” To which the businessman replied, “15-20 years.” “But what then, señor?” The businessman laughed and said, “That’s the best part! When the time is right you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich. You would make millions.” “Millions, señor? Then what?” The businessman said, “Then you would retire. Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take a siesta with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos.”
The fisherman, still smiling, looked up and said, “Isn’t that what I’m doing right now?”
 

 
acceptance
This is an old Taoist story teaching non-judgement of and detachment from outcomes since nothing is either good or bad. It just is.
There is a Taoist story of an old farmer who had worked his crops for many years. One day his horse ran away. Upon hearing the news, his neighbors came to visit.
“Such bad luck,” they said sympathetically. “Maybe,” the farmer replied.
The next morning the horse returned, bringing with it three other wild horses. “How wonderful,” the neighbors exclaimed. “Maybe,” replied the old man.
The following day, his son tried to ride one of the untamed horses, was thrown, and broke his leg. The neighbors again came to offer their sympathy on his misfortune. “Maybe,” answered the farmer.
The day after, military officials came to the village to draft young men into the army. Seeing that the son’s leg was broken, they passed him by. The neighbors congratulated the farmer on how well things had turned out. “Maybe,” said the farmer.
 

Do you know any stories that can inspire us to live more whole and happy lives? Please share them in the comments below.
Image source: 1, 2 & 3.

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