A talented artisan was growing old and decided to resign from his trade. He approached his employer and said, "Sir I have grown old and tiered, my bones are stiff and arms ache with the years of toil. I want to rest a bit and spend my remaining life with my wife."
The employer requested that he reconsider his decision but the artisan persisted. Reluctantly the employer agreed and asked him for a favour, "Before you leave, dear friend, please pattern a gold plate for me".
The artisan agreed and returned to work (almost half-heartedly). Reluctantly he took a slab of gold and hastily tried to fashion it into a plate. The artisan beat at the gold, it had dents at several places and a puncture in one spot. But without paying heed to these he continued to fashion the plate.
After hours of grueling work the plate was ready, but it bore dents and cracks at several places. The artisan handed it over to his employer and said "this is the best I could do."
With a heavy heart the employer took the plate and told the artisan, "I wish you had taken some care while making this plate. I wanted to gift it to you. Now you have to carry home this shoddy piece of work".
We are like the artisan, our lives the block of gold and Fate the employer. We are given a fair chance to fashion our lives into masterpieces but our haste and indifference often gets the better of us and we ruin the chanced opportunity.
Two boys were once climbing a mountain when one tripped and fell down. He brazed his knee and was in considerable pain. "Aahh", groaned the boy who had fallen down. "Aahh" resounded the mountainside. "Who are you?" asked the boy in anger, "Who are you" resounded the valley.
Considerably agitated by now, the boy got to his feet and swung his clenched fist in anger, "Show your face you coward, I will smash you to smithereens". "Show your face you coward, I will smash you to smithereens," came the reply.
By now the other boy was smiling sympathetically at his injured friend. "Why are you smiling?" asked the injured boy.
Lending him a helping hand the boy raised him to his feet and said "listen" and shouted "I love you", and the mountainside responded with a louder "I love you". "You are the greatest" and pat came the reply from the mountain.
"Understand the depth of Nature friend," said the boy, "you only get back what you give. Your life is a reflection of you, it will only show you who you truly are."
There once was a farmer who owned a cow, a rooster, a dog and a pig. The animals were free to roam the farm the whole day, but come twilight and the farmer would usher the rooster to its coop, the pig would be driven inside its pen, the cow would be tied to its tether while the dog would be confined to the courtyard to 'keep an eye' on these.
As the days passed by the animals became familiar with their routine and as day melted into night would proceed to their respective resting and guarding places.
One evening the farmer accidentally let the rope hang around the cow without fastening it, he left the courtyard gate open as also the doors to the pen and coop. However to his pleasant surprise (the next morning) none of the animals had stirred from their place. Years of bonding had made them so accustomed to their resting place that they remained 'fastened' their without any exterior confinements.
We too are like the cow, rooster, dog and pig. Years of conditioning mould us into succumbing to servitude and confinement. So used are we to this subjugated status that even when the external force is removed, our mind cannot break the imaginary shackles and we continue with our state of bonded labor.
Remember, the power of the mind is the greatest pleasure, once you have mastered this weapon you can break through the biggest shackles and strongest chains. The power is within you, you must set yourself free from the make-believe world of routine!