Two wise men were travelling around the country on a mission. One night they decided to stop in a small village. They could not sleep under the tree as it was raining heavily and so started looking for a house to rest that night. They stopped by at a house that looked like that of a wealthy family. Hesitantly they went in to check with the master of the family if they could spend the night there. The family was rude and not keen to let the wise men stay in their mansion. But then, they thought the villagers might get to know about this and would earn them a bad name for disrespecting the wise men. But they did not want to give them their guest room. Instead, they were given a small space in the cold basement. As the wise men made their bed on the hard floor, the older one saw a hole in the wall and repaired it. When the younger one asked why, the older man replied, “Things aren’t always what they seem.”
The next morning, they thanked the family and went ahead on their journey. The next night the duo came to rest at the house of a very poor, but very hospitable farmer and his wife. After sharing whatever little food they had, the couple let the wise men sleep in their bed where they could have a good night’s rest. The next morning the wise men found the farmer and his wife in tears. Their only cow, whose milk had been their sole income, lay dead in the field.
The younger wise man was infuriated and asked the older one, “How could you have let this happen? The rich man had everything, yet you helped him and now this poor family had little but were willing to share everything, and you let the cow die.”
“Things aren’t always what they seem.” – the older wise man replied. “When we stayed in the basement of the mansion, I noticed there was gold stored in that hole in the wall. Since the owner was so greedy and unwilling to share his good fortune, I sealed the wall so he wouldn’t find it. Then last night as we slept in the farmer's bed, a wild animal was about to attack the farmer’s wife. I had so little time to react that I let the cow which was tied there loose. The wild animal found the cow and attacked it instead of the lady. Things aren’t always what they seem.”
Look beneath the surface: When you look at the surface of events and situations and make opinions and decisions about people, it always looks like how they are at fault. Instead, our perspectives might change, when we take a moment to look beneath the surface and understand situations that make people act or react the way they do.
Tame your restless mind: The mind is often restless and ruffled. It looks like nothing in your power and might can tame it. It is only practice, practice and practice that can calm and tame your mind. And when your mind is tamed, you can better focus on your goals and aspirations.
It isn’t what you look at that matters, it is what you see: Beauty lies in the sands and the beaches. But magnificence lies in what is beyond the sands and the beaches. The depth of the seas and the oceans is what you need to focus on. So, don’t just stop looking at what is obvious, look for the opportunities beyond.