No sé si ya alguna vez hayas visto un águila. Claro, en el parque zoológico, pero en eso no estaba pensando. Si uno ve un águila en el zoológico, esa parece sin ganas, cansada y medio dormida. ¿Pues qué debería hacer? Un águila fue creada para volar, y eso no lo puede hacer en una jaula, en todo caso no verdaderamente. Lo que a mí me impresiona de las águilas es su fuerza y como la manejan. Se podría pensar que un ave tan grande también aleteara fuertemente cuando vuela. Pero eso no le hace falta a un águila. Traza círculos en el cielo, y aunque solo pocas veces mueve sus alas, puede subir hasta que la perdemos de la vista. ¿Cómo es que el águila sabe que es capaz de volar? Si un semejante animal pudiera hablar – creo que no empezaría a cuestionar la existencia del aire antes de ponerse a volar. Las águilas no necesitan pruebas. A ellas les basta de ser sostenidas. El resultado les sirve de prueba.
In a land in our time there lived a man, who read a book and found lots of wonderful stories therein. There were true and invented stories, experienced and pensive, enjoyable and painful stories. There were stories which contained stories, and such which were actually not stories. For every story he read, there occurred to him nearly five which he had either experienced or thought up himself. So the thought came to him, that a lot in the world was a story which could be healing for himself and others; he only needed to absorb the healing stories well and to forget the terrible ones immediately. Then he would learn which story he had used when and for what. So he organised his own stories which he knew, and which had become a help to himself and others, or could become so. Sometimes he noted it down when a new story came to his ears and sometimes when a helpful story occurred to him, he memorised it.
Then he saw before him in a picture the storystories of this life arranged in long shelves, as in a large pharmacy. And behind the counter there sat a man who had learnt to listen to himself and others. He was a master of his subjectspecialty. His talent was that he understood how to tell the right thing at the right time to himself and to those who visited him.
famous trombone player was asked about the secret of his art. He answered: “You not only hear the breath that you use, but also the one you retain.”
Mr. Wright lives in Hopville at the river Gies. This is situated near Evenbrook at the Reed, close to the village of Lowfield. Every day, Mr. Wright works in his little garden. He hoes the ground and weeds out the dandelions. He plucks the dry leaves off the sunflowers and waters all the plants in his garden. Two neighbours pass by. They whisper: “Oh, look at him! Does this man have nothing better to do than to water his flowers all day?” The hobby gardener hears their words and says to himself: “I don’t deserve to be considered lazy. I have plenty of work!” The next morning, Mr. Wright gets up quite early. He throws himself into his work and puts in some overtime. He is very industrious. His boss is proud of him. The beautiful plants in his garden dry up however, and after a few weeks, his garden is full of weeds. One evening, he hears his neighbours passing by: “Oh, look at him! How this man lets his garden go to waste! It is an embarrassment for the whole village!”
The next morning Mr. Wright gets up even earlier than before. He takes his job very seriously, working hard without a break, all day. Coming home from work late at night he works in his little garden. While doing so, he hears his neighbours say as they pass by: “Oh, look at him! Hasn’t this man got four children? He spends no time with them nor does he support his poor wife in her daily work. He should be ashamed of himself.”
From then on Mr. Wright gets up even earlier. The break of dawn sees him working in his little garden, just before he goes to his company, where he works like a madman. In the afternoon, he helps his wife, and then he supports his children in any way he can think of. Dead tired he falls into bed. This continues for a while until one morning he does not get up any more. The doctor fills in the death certificate. “Myocardial infarction” he notes. Two days later the funeral takes place. His faithful neighbours also accompany him on his last journey. “Oh, look at him! He could have taken it a bit more easy and lived a calm and pleasant life. Why did he work so hard?”
Often I have asked myself why some people seem restlessly occupied, have a densely filled agenda and desk, and talk about their stressful work, but at the end of the day have no better results than others who still have spare time for finding rest and recreation.
It might seem that excessive labour offers good security. First of all it creates an impression of this person as being utterly important. Whoever works unceasingly must be indispensable. A person who has done so much and complains of the burden of his work will more easily be forgiven if he commits some error. He may hope to be envied or even pitied. If it is noticed that his work is never finished, some of his tasks may be delegated to somebody else. He can at least avoid receiving further tasks too early. In the course of time, his spectrum of work will be defined more narrowly but at least there should not be too many new challenges awaiting him. On the other hand, he will not want too many jobs to be taken away from him, lest he lose the great advantages of his work overload. When other colleagues are made redundant, the sheer amount of work he has to do is seen at first glance, and he will be considered indispensable. Even those who are self-employed or work as civil servants can enjoy the good conscience of having done all that they could by having filled the available time completely with industrious activity.
How disadvantageous would it be, indeed, if he succeeded in being finished with all his tasks in shorter time! Or, if he even took a break or thought about some concept in which he could work in a far more relaxed yet more effective manner! This would surely cause him to suffer the envy and animosity of others. But worse would be the struggle with that inner voice of conscience with its remark: “The man who takes a rest is lazy.” I am convinced: Whoever wants to achieve much while being relaxed and be successful with little effort will need to have a strong personality.
There once lived two lizards in a little gap between the stones of a wall. Their names were Margaret and Lucy. Lucy lay on the wall all day sunbathing. Margaret spent most of her time hunting insects for herself and her children. She felt annoyed when she saw Lucy on the wall. “How you are wasting your time! If you were a decent lizard, you would be taking care of your children. What on earth are you doing up there all day long?” Lucy’s eyes twinkled and she said: “I am collecting energy. You see, I am doing something for my children.” “I see it differently”, Margaret grumbled. “And besides, I will not be surprised if one day some buzzard or falcon snatches you from that wall.” “We will see”, Lucy responded, and stretched out in the sun. Margaret preferred to spend her time chasing ants. She appeared exhausted in recent days. Sometimes her life was endangered: She lacked the agility necessary to escape a weasel or a cat. Lucy’s children, however, became strong and quick, like herself. They soon caught the largest spiders, the quickest running beetles, and even huge dragonflies. But their favourite pastime was to lie on the wall and to stretch out in the sunshine.