Change makes us reassess our life and sharpen our vision. Surprises test our principles and determination. Setbacks make us wonder if our efforts are worth anything. The stronger our fear of uncertainty, the more desperate our need to cling to the past.
One placid summer morning
Such were the
questions that occupied Krishna's mind one placid summer morning, when he was
meditating under a banyan tree near the river. He heard steps behind his
back and the voice of Nadu interrupted his thoughts. "Long live the
wise, Krishna," saluted Nadu.
Krishna opened his eyes and saw
that Nadu was carrying a black sheep in his arms. When Nadu set the
sheep on the ground, the animal stared briefly at Krishna, found him
uninteresting, turned around, and began to drink water from the river.
father is worried and has sent me to ask you for advice," explained
Nadu, pointing at the black sheep, that then started to eat grass, looking perfectly healthy. "We don't know how this has happened, but we fear for the other sheep."
walked out of the house on Monday morning, we found this black sheep standing in the
middle of our herd." Nadu made a small pause and reflected. "Of course, we had heard
stories about black sheep, but we always thought that they didn't exist."
stood up, walked up to the animal, and caressed its head. "At the
beginning, we didn't give it much importance," continued Nadu, "but the
next day, strange things began to happen, like in the stories we
The importance of bellowing at dawn
The animal lifted its head and began to ruminate
contentedly the grass that it had just eaten. "Does it bellow at dawn
while other sheep are still asleep?" inquired Krishna. "Does it refuse to
return home in the evening? Does it try run away at the smallest opportunity and
encourage other sheep to join it?"
Surprised, Nadu confirmed all points. He had not expected such focused questions from Krishna. How
come that Krishna knew so much about black sheep? Nadu was terrified of
the possibility that other sheep in the herd might also become black.
How life should be spent
me, Nadu," continued Krishna, "is it not true that sheep spend their
whole lives in slumber, never try to run away, and always follow the herd
without delay?" Nadu nodded, wondering where Krishna was heading with
At that moment, the black sheep turned to Nadu and
stared at him impatiently, as though it was wondering why Nadu was so
slow in drawing the obvious conclusion. A long silence ensued before
Krishna spoke again. "The truth is, Nadu, that this animal is not a
Nadu, instead of being shocked by the news, took the
whole matter rather philosophically. He immediately accepted Krishna's
offer to relieve him of the animal, ran back to the farmhouse, and
informed his father that the problem was solved once and for all.
Krishna then traversed the forest, followed closely by the
animal. In the afternoon, they climbed a mountain and reached a hidden
valley, where hundreds of similar black creatures were placidly eating
grass and having a great time.
When the newcomer joined the
others, it was warmly welcomed. Krishna
observed the animals play while the sun went down. He didn't understand them and he didn't know
where they came from, but he was sure of one thing. Those
were not sheep.
For more information about rational living and personal development, I refer you to my book The 10 Principles of Rational Living
[Image by Duchamp under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us]