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Grand Master of All Things Thinkable speaks to Uninitiated Student:

“You say, oh Student, that your life is hard.” He gently turns to gaze into Student’s eyes.

“Yes, Grand Master, my life is hard,” replies Uninitiated Student, unable to return the gaze for fear of faltering or seeming weak.

“What is hard about your life?” Grand Master wrinkles his brow and pays close attention.

“I am poor.”

“Hmm. Tell me the other hard things.”

Student replies, “I am afraid. I am not brave. I am small of stature. I am not strong.” He pauses as if that’s the entire list.

Grand Master ponders a moment, then, “If I tell you I am about to die of thirst because I have never been instructed as to how to drink from a cup of tea, what would be your reaction?”

Student is startled that his opinion is being asked for. “Er, I do not want you to starve.”

“If you do not wish for me to die of thirst, will you first take a long time to list your fears and weaknesses and tribulations, and fret about them?”

Student speaks quickly before thinking. “No! I would lift your cup of tea to your lips and help you drink.”

Grand Master looks surprised. “What? What happened to your worries and fears? Are they not the most important things in your mind?”

“Uh, I did not stop to think about that before replying,” Student says.

“Do you mean that your concerns are suddenly less pronounced? And if so, why is that  happening?”

Student seems energized, not as diffident as when first in the presence of Grand Master. “Well, my first concern is with your thirst and your lack of skill in addressing your thirst.”

“You mean your immediate challenge takes precedent over your earlier concerns?”

Uninitiated Student brightens up. “Yes. Yes!”

Grand Master of All Things Thinkable gestures to dismiss Student. “Our lesson will continue another day.” He glances into the eyes of Student and asks, “What do you think the subject of Lesson Two will be?”

Uninitiated Student’s mind is racing now. He hesitates, then speaks.

“I believe Lesson Two will involve my instructing you as to how to drink a cup of tea without assistance.”

Grand Master looks pleased and waves Student away.

Lesson One is over

© Jim Reed 2017 A.D.

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