You cannot satisfy a thirst if you worry about climbing the hill that leads to the spring
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Most streams in the tropics where the people live run through a valley. In order to get to the water, most villagers must climb a hilly slope. Those who have been under the hot tropical sun and those who have been working outdoors find a valley as a welcome site for they know that there must be some running water below. Our forebears however, realized that despite the abundance of such clear clean water, personal effort is required on the part of those who are thirsty before they could get the water. Though there may not be any monetary cost associated with the water, the individual must, as a matter of necessity, expend some energy in order to get to it and those who are not wiling to expend such energy stand at the mercy of others. Our people used this saying to remind each other that there is no gain without pain and that pleasure and satisfaction are the aftermath of work.
There are several things that seem to stand in our way as we pursue life goals. It seems like every time we turn around there are situations that we have to contend with. As parents, many of us struggle with trying to hold on to what we know and cherish against the cultures and ways that our children are exposed to. Challenges of vocation, relationships, money and health may seem to stand between the present and our future plans. The typical response is to delay plans and hope that when things improve we will write the book, learn a new language, save money, take that trip or begin the new project. We put off registering for school or starting the new career and hoping to do it someday. Our forebears knew about procrastination, they also knew about the reluctance that accompany the thought of taking on pain for the benefit of the future and so they cautioned that those who think about the inconvenience of the hill will seldom get to the spring for a drink. Life requires boldness, and living well involves taking on risk.
A story is told of a young man who told his mentor about his love for a young woman in his village. He said that he would have married the young lady except that her mother had gangosa (alök). The elderly man asked if his love was for the mother or daughter. The young man confused by this time replied that he meant the daughter. The wise sage replied, “you cannot get anything sweet if you refuse to touch what is bitter”.
What are you putting off? What is it that stands between you and what you want and how do you plan to handle it? Do you plan to go through it or around it? Are these really obstacles or are they things that you have not yet checked to see but think they may be obstacles? You cannot get anything in this world without the readiness to roll up your sleeves and work for it. Those who feel they can get something without an effort are those who easily fall prey to scams. Climbing the hill may be hard and some hills are harder to climb than others, but all such efforts do produce a reward in the end. Worrying about how to do it without an attempt fetches nothing. Our wish for you today is that you may learn about the value of spiritual wealth and discover anew the strength that is within you.
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