Just outside the village lived an old man. He was very wise, and in times of trouble or stress, the people of the village always went to ask his advice. He was known for his wisdom, not only in the area in which he lived, but also in lands far away. When either strangers or friends would appear at his door, he would always welcome them in. His words of wisdom were repeated time and time again.
“He gave me the answer I needed,” said the butcher to the baker. “Its not always the first place you look, but you’ll find it if you look around.”
“‘You cannot give what you do not have,’ is what he reminded me,” remarked the carpenter to the carpet maker.
But now there was a great dilemma in the village. There was a problem to be solved. All the people gathered in the marketplace to consider all the details. What to do? Where to turn?
“Let’s ask the wise man,” said the smart mayor of the land.
“No,” countered the glass blower, “he’s too far away. It will take us all afternoon to travel to his home. We need this to be taken care of as soon as possible.”
“Here, here,” agreed all the people.
“But wait,” responded one particularly kind woman. “What if we make the wrong choice and it happens again, then what?”
“Oh my.” They all were in agreement there. So it was decided, it was better to travel to the old man’s house and take the problem with them. So several men and women made the choice to go, and gathered up the problem and put it in a wagon to take to the wise old man.
It wasn’t long before the group of travelers was interrupted by a young child. He was standing in the road blocking the way. “Move away and don’t bother us, child. We have a major problem to tend to,” chimed the group.
But the young boy was very distraught and apparently unable to speak, simply pointed to his foot. He had lost one of his shoes.
“What is it?” Said one.
“He needs shoes,” answered another.
“When you have no feet you’ll really have a problem,” remembered an unusually tall individual. “I cried because I had no shoes, until I met a man with no feet.” That was one of the wise man’s greatest statements.
“Yes, yes,” all agreed. “Move along young man.”
“But wait,” sighed the shortest women, “I see a pair in back of the cart.” She gave them to the little boy and he went on his way.
Now, they all had stopped in the meadow to eat a bite of lunch. “Help me,” they began to hear. “Help me!” They followed the noise to a well. Inside had fallen a blind man who had reached down too far.
Some of the people wanted to just leave him because it was getting late, but the more sensible of the group would not allow it. “What if he dies down there?” Someone had a thought. “Then we will just have another problem.” So they took a rope from the wagon and lifted him out. He was grateful and went on his way.
Soon, another traveler approached, going in the opposite direction. “Hello, friendly group of fellow travelers,” she cheerfully bantered. “Hello,” countered the group.
“We are on our way to the wise man’s house. We have a problem so pressing, we must seek his help.”
“What?” Asked the lone woman. “I lost my hearing some time ago. But I can try to read your lips.”
“Oh my” said the travelers. “We’re going to the wise man’s house.”
“I see. May I go along? I have quite a problem myself.”
“Well, we guess so,” agreed the people.”
“What is your problem?” Asked one man.
“My husband is on the roof and our ladder broke.”
“Wait, we have one hanging on the side of our wagon,” noticed someone. So they gave it to her.
Finally, they arrived at the wise man’s house. He invited them in.
“What has brought you to my door?” The old man asked, as he passed around the apple cider.
“We have a problem and we have brought it with us,” commented the mayor.
“We were almost stopped by the deaf, dumb and blind,” remarked another.
“But we weren’t foolish enough to let them stop our quest,” added still another.
“Indeed,” said the old man. “Keep someone from their bottom, and it will raise you to your top. The obstacles in your journey were not to make you fail but succeed. Okay, lets go look at your problem.”
So, all went to the wagon to see the problem. But it was gone.
When you have sure shoes to climb your ladder don’t forget to throw someone a rope and you’ll reach the top more quickly.
By Marjeana Martin BlueAngelBabie@aol.com