Watch Your Spoon
” Meanwhile I want to ask you to do something, said the wise man, handling the boy a teaspoon that had 2 drops of oil. As you wander around carry this spoon with you without allowing the oil to spill.”
The boy began climbing and descending the many stairways of the palace, keeping his eyes fixed on the spoon. After 2 hours, he returned to the room where the wise man was.
“Well”, asked the wise man “did you see the Persian tapestries that are hanging in my dining hall? Did you see the garden that it took the master gardener ten years to create? Did you notice the beautiful parchments in the library?”
The boy was embarrassed and confessed that he had observed nothing. His only concern had been not to spill the oil that the wise man had entrusted to him. “Then go back and observe the marvels of my world” said the wise man. “You can not trust a man if you don’t know his house”.
Relieved the boy picked up the spoon and returned to his exportation of the palace, this time observing all of the works of art on the ceilings and the walls. He saw the gardens, the mountains all around him, the beauty of the flowers and the taste with which everything had been selected. Upon returning to the wise man, he related in detail everything he had seen.
” But where are the drops of oil I entrusted to you?” asked the wise man.
Looking down at the spoon he held, the boy saw that the oil has gone.
”Well there is only one piece of advice I can give you” said the wisest of the wise man, “the secret of happiness is to see the marvels of the world and never forget the drops of oil on the spoon.”
This was an abstract from The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, a short story about a young boy chasing his hearts true desires. A story with some VERY strong messages. I think that this message in particular struck out at me as too often in life we are concentrating on small insignificant things that we don’t notice how amazing the world is and all the things in it. It also tells us that by prioritizing the big picture we forget what is important.
So as the message says; to lead a fulfilling life we must absorb all the amazing things in life while appreciating the small things and all the people that make us happy.
What do you think the message means?