A message that I'm taking with me the next time I go to the stream
Below is a short message that a fly fishing friend sent to me tonight via e-mail. I've read it over several times and each time I read it, it sinks in more deeply and after I finish it, I smile more broadly. I actually think that I come closest to living the lesson in this message when I'm fly fishing; which, for me, is a very good thing.
This message may not be for everyone, and for those of you that it's not for, I apologize for this post in advance. But I think it 's worthy of a read and because of that, I'm posting it to the forum.
"A group of former students, all well along in their lives and careers, got together for a visit with one of their old Elementary School teachers. Although starting out with a lot of lighthearted chatter, the conversation soon turned to complaints about the endless stress of work and life in general.
Offering his guests coffee, the old teacher went into the kitchen and soon returned with a large pot of coffee and an eclectic assortment of cups; porcelain, plastic, glass, crystal - some plain, some expensive, some quite exquisite. Quietly he told them to help themselves to some fresh coffee.
When each of his former students had a cup of coffee in their hand, the old teacher quietly cleared this throat and began to patiently address the small gathering. "You may have noticed that all of the nicer looking cups were taken up first, leaving behind the plainer and cheaper ones. While it is only natural for you to want only the best for yourselves, that is actually the source of many of your stress-related complaints."
He continued: "Be assured that the cup itself adds no quality to the coffee. In fact, the cup merely disguises or dresses up what we drink. What each of you really wanted was coffee, not a cup, but you instinctively went for the best cups. Then you began eyeing each other's cups. Now consider this:
Life is coffee. Jobs, money and position in society are merely cups. They are just tools to shape and contain life and the type of cup we have does not change the quality of the live we live. Often by concentrating only on the cup, we fail to enjoy the coffee that has been provided to us at birth. Being born into this world provides us with the coffee, but it does not provide us with the cups. Enjoy the coffee. And remember two things:
One, the happiest people don't have the best of everything, they just make the best of everything that they have, and two, the richest person among you is not the one who has the most, but the one who needs the least."
You won't find me making another posting like this to a Fly Fishing forum, as it's a little off the mark and, in general, it's not my style. But I do have to admit to having a certain affection for "cups" and I plan to reevaluate them; all of them, on my next trip to the stream.