There is an old Chinese tale about a woman whose only son died. In her grief, she went to the holy man and said, “What prayers, what magical incantations do you have to bring my son back to life?”
Instead of sending her away or reasoning with her, he said to her, “Fetch me a mustard seed from a home that has never known sorrow. We will use it to drive the sorrow out of your life.” The woman went off at once in search of that magical mustard seed.
She came first to a splendid mansion, knocked at the door, and said, “I am looking for a home that has never known sorrow. Is this such a place? It is very important to me.”
They told her, “You’ve certainly come to the wrong place,” and began to describe all the tragic things that recently had befallen them.
The woman said to herself, “Who is better able to help these poor, unfortunate people that I, who have had misfortune of my my own?” She stayed to comfort them, then went on in search of a home that had never known sorrow.
But wherever she turned, in hovels and in other places, she found one tale after another of sadness and misfortune. She became so involved in ministering to other people’s grief that ultimately she forgot about her quest for the magical mustard seed, never realizing that it had, in fact, driven the sorrow out of her life.
The Nugget: There is no such thing as pain-free zone. We’re all entitled to go through tough times at some point in our lives. In fact, every person you see – no matter how posh or ‘holly’ they seem to be – is fighting some kind of life battle, often times a tougher battle than your own. Extending a hand of love and touch others in need is the best panacea there is to your own pain.