teachings of billionaire YenTzu #2
(Van Morrison – Comfort You)
Freeing The Bear, (growing strong relationships)
‘During one particularly difficult winter a certain man thought about how he could reduce his expenses,’ began the storyteller to the listening crowd. ‘And he came up with what he thought was a bright idea. He decided to give his hard-working mule a little less grain and hay. This he did and the mule seemed quite content. So, a few days later, he gave it a little less and it still appeared to be happy.
‘This continued until the man was giving the animal less than half it’s normal ration. The mule moved more slowly and was quieter, but the man still thought it was healthy and happy. Then, one morning, much to his surprise, he entered his barn and discovered that his mule had died in the night. This man then wept and cried aloud saying, “My trusty mule is dead and just when he was getting used to not eating.”
The crowd that now surrounded the storyteller roared with laughter. ‘What did the fool expect!’ shouted someone.
‘Exactly so!’ said the storyteller. ‘To expect the continued support of such a loyal companion, without any sustenance, is foolish. Yet that is how Man himself often behaves towards loyal friends, measuring the strength of their relationships through the lack of complaint they receive.’
‘But man is not an ass,’ shouted another bystander, accenuating the last word to another roar of laughter from the crowd. ‘He does not have to suffer in silence. When he is hungry everybody knows about it. He is like a bear with a sore head!’
‘But when he is hungry for something that really matters to him he is as silent as the night,’ said the storyteller. ‘People go to bed at night starving for affection, praise and love, more than they ever do for food. For it is their relationships that upset their stomachs more than lack of food.
‘In truth, we must never compromise the important relationships in our lives by reducing the level of sustenance every relationship must have to be strong. We must never take the silence of another as agreement to how well we think we are treating them. Indeed, we must never take any of our relationships for granted, for we might discover that one day the very spark of what was once good has slowly died.’