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One night a group of nomads were preparing to retire for the evening when suddenly they were surrounded by a great light. They knew they were in the presence of a celestial being. With great anticipation, they awaited a heavenly message of great importance that they knew must be especially for them.
Finally, the voice spoke, "Gather as many pebbles as you can. Put them in your saddle bags. Travel a day's journey and tomorrow night will find you glad and it will find you sad."
After having departed, the nomads shared their disappointment and anger with each other. They had expected the revelation of a great universal truth that would enable them to create wealth, health and purpose for the world. But instead they were given a menial task that made no sense to them at all. However, the memory of the brilliance of their visitor caused each one to pick up a few pebbles and deposit them in their saddle bags while voicing their displeasure.
They traveled a day's journey and that night while making camp, they reached into their saddle bags and discovered every pebble they had gathered had become a diamond. They were glad they had diamonds. They were sad they had not gathered more pebbles.
That story was featured in an article written by John Wayne Schlatter, from the book "A 2nd Helping of Chicken Soup for the Soul".
Every experience, whether small, overwhelming, joyful, or upsetting, is a pebble we find on the road. If we leave it there on the road and glean nothing from it, then we will end up with an empty bag at the end of our journey.
However, if we begin to cherish and appreciate every pebble, learn something from it, and keep it in our bags, we will finish our journey with a bag full of diamonds.
The irony of the story is in the arcane message delivered by the mysterious voice, supposedly the voice of God. Understanding fully the nature of Man - which is to be suspecting and lazy - he knew from the beginning that the nomads would finish their journey both glad and sad.
Not one of them was faithful or industrious enough to follow the instructions properly, and so they all ended up regretful that they had not gathered more pebbles.
Treat every experience in life like a pebble that will yield a diamond in the future. In this way, you'll ensure that you constantly develop and grow, as well as accumulated a wealth of knowledge to enrich you in the years ahead.
Written by Eugene Loh Story taken from "A 2nd Helping of Chicken Soup for the Soul" edited by Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen
A Slice of Life is written, produced and presented by Eugene Loh unless otherwise stated. If you wish to share the scripts with others, please credit it to 'Eugene Loh, A Slice of Life, 938LIVE, a station of MediaCorp Radio'.