Worry vs. Work!

–       by Acharya Ratnananda

Long long ago, and far far away, there lived a king who was very wise. However, he was always a worried man. One thing or another made him feel depressed and desolate.

As is normal with many wise people, he could never take things lightly and laugh. His ministers and subjects rarely found him in a pleasant mood and were even hesitant to smile or laugh in his presence.

One day, his well-wishers secretly met and discussed ways to reform the king, and they hit upon a plan. Next time when the court assembled, the king, as usual called upon his minister and said, “My dear Minister, I am worried about a problem.”

The minister promptly replied, “Yes Sir, I have also thought over it.” In turn, the king was puzzled. He said, “How can you be aware of my problem, even before I have expressed it?”

The latter said, “I need not know it, but I know something better. I know the solution.” The king was now really shocked. “How can you know the solution even before knowing the problem?” The minister calmly replied, “You may have not one, but many problems. But I have just one solution for all of them.”

The shock and the surprise of the king increased at these strange words of the minister. How can anyone offer a single solution to many problems even before knowing them?

The king hesitantly asked, “May I know what is your solution?”

“Don’t worry” said the minister, “that is exactly my solution.”

The king slowly understood the import of the words but was still unable to appreciate them. “How can I not worry when there is a problem?” he asked.

“Has your worry solved any problem any time, my good king?” asked the minister. “No,” said the king. The minister said, “When such is the case, why worry and expect it to solve any issue? The secret of success is not to worry, but to work for fulfillment. It is also a fact that it is worry, and not work, which kills. The joy of life is to laugh your worries away!”

“O King,” continued the minister, “you are leading us in your wisdom, why not lead us also to laugh and live by your own example?”

The king at last realized the folly of his worries and the subtle manner in which it was brought home to him. He began to laugh and was amused to find that everybody joined in the merriment.

This ancient story reveals that worrying never solved anything. Worrying has often weakened one’s resolve and also reduced the stamina to succeed. To overcome worry by laughter and wisdom, is half the battle won!

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