It is only when we stop seeking to do what we love, that we are able to start loving whatever we do.
Many of us have probably heard this folktale before. Retellings of this story have also surfaced through time.
Here is my own retelling of the story of “The Stonecutter”:
Once upon a time, a man worked as a stone cutter chiseling stones on a huge mountain everyday.
One day, with the hot sun putting a toil on him as usual, he said to himself:
“I want to be the Sun. It is so powerful when it shines on this mountain!”
And all of a sudden, his wish was granted and he became the Sun.
He was so overjoyed that he used his new-found power and started shining on the earth as strongly as he could. The heat was so intense that it burned up the fields and soon dark clouds began to form and covered the earth.
Seeing this, he said to himself:
“I want to be the Cloud. It is so powerful that it can cover this land in darkness!”
And all of sudden, his wish came true and he became the Cloud.
Feeling over-exuberant, he used his new-found ability as a cloud and started to turn into water and pour rain on the earth as heavily as he could. The rain was so unforgiving that it flooded the fields. And yet when he gazed at the stones on the mountain, the stones were still as rock-hard as they were despite the heavy rain falling on it.
And he said to himself:
“I want to be the Stone. It is so powerful and can withstand such heavy downpour!”
And again his wish was granted and he became the Stone.
And so he was the stone on the mountain.
He could hear chiseling noise around him.
“Where does that chiseling noise come from?” he asked himself.
And just as he turned to look up, he saw a stonecutter chiseling away at him.
The moral of the story is that “the grass is greener on the other side of the fence” is a myth. It is more important to be ourselves and be who we are than to go around trying to be every other person whom we think we want to emulate.
Make the best use of our own innate abilities and uniqueness because it is precisely this differentiation among all of us that makes this world a better place for everyone.
The story has not ended yet.
Here is my own extended version:
The story above ended with the man realizing that being a stone is nowhere better than being a stonecutter because when he finally ended up becoming a stone, he was being chiseled away by a stonecutter.
The story continued.
And so he said:
“I want to go back to being the Stonecutter.”
And sure enough his wish was realized and he became the Stonecutter again.
And as he chisel away at the stones every day, these life lessons constantly flashes through his mind:
“Wishes and miracles that come through easily usually turn out to be not what we thought they should be.”
“The sun, the cloud, the stone — while they are strong in their distinctive ways, all of them have flaws just like everyone else.”
“Many of us went on a merry-go-round in life only to return to who we were at the very beginning.”
The story continued.
Years passed by and one day as the stonecutter continued chiseling away his stones, each of these stones suddenly turned into diamonds.
“Enjoy the little things in life because one day you will look back and realize they were the big things.” — Kurt Vonnegut