A monk was making a great traverse when he came upon something special in the path.
Along the way, through the rain, he noticed a glimmer poke out from the dirt and mud.
It could’ve been the rain which cleared off the dirt. It could’ve been chance. It could’ve been fate. A shiny object was just uncovered enough for him to notice it.
The monk curiously crept toward the gleam. He came closer. And the gleam grew into a glow. He crouched down and reached into the dirt and pulled out the item: a giant ruby, red as fire, emanating light from within.
The monk marveled. The ruby was the most beautiful item he’d ever seen. The enormous gem seemed to weigh almost nothing when he placed it in his pack. Somehow its grandeur made it a light and easy load to bear.
Farther down the trail another journeyer caught up to the monk. He was starving, tired, weary, and begging for food. The monk had none.
Without hesitation the monk said, “although I have no food to give, I do have this; and it ought to fetch you a reward great enough to feed you for many days.” At that, the monk hastily reached into his bag, retrieved the ruby, and handed it to the journeyer.
The journeyer was thankful. The two exchanged goodbyes, and parted ways, each continuing down separate paths.
A little while longer the journeyer had doubled back to catch up with the monk once again. He said, “whatever it was that compelled you to give that treasure to me - I wonder if it’s possible for you to give THAT to me.”
Having seen how freely the monk gave away his possession, that freedom of spirit was clearly more valuable and more joy than could be obtained from any treasure.
Whatever your desire, whatever your goal, whatever your want, you may find that the more desirable outcome is a deeper belief or peace which is layers below the superficial outcome. Especially as we enter the New Year’s Resolution period of the year, when considering goals, don’t let it be forgotten that a career goal, a life goal, a success goal, a fitness goal, or a fill-in-the-blank-here goal all pale in comparison to a change in your heart.
Reaching a goal is admirable. Gaining treasure is nice. But having the graciousness to let go and freely give is divine.