Wednesday, December 12, 2012

A Valuable Lesson From An Elderly Man

In Ancient Greece, at a festival in Athens attended by thousands of people, a young powerfully built weight lifter displayed his spectacular feats of strength,. But as he kept bragging about the amazing amounts of weight he could lift and his claim to be the strongest man in Greece, an elderly man in the crowd could stand it no more and he issued a challenge to the young man.

"My challenge," he said, "Is to see which of us can carry not a heavy weight but one weighing only as much as this small brick across a finish line under the great olive tree on the far side of Athens. The young man laughed uproariously as he held the brick.

"This weighs practically nothing" he declared. "Yes," the old man replied. "But there is one more stipulation. Each of us must carry our brick in our right hand holding out our right arm at full length as we walk."

"Fine," said the young man, as he laughed aloud again. "Let's begin." The young man was off like a shot, carrying his brick at arm' s length and soon disappeared into the distance. The old man began as well, but at a much slower pace.

Long before he reached the finish line, the young man dropped his brick in disgust, for as light as it was, it had become far too heavy, But the old man, who stopped several times along the way to rest, setting his brick down each time, triumphantly walked across the finish line, brick held out at full length, as the crowd cheered him.

How had he accomplished such a feat that the powerful weight lifter was unable to do? "It was very simple" he replied. "Light as those bricks were, over time the stress on the muscles of holding a brick at arm's length made it very heavy.

"The ego of this young man wouldn't allow him to acknowledge this nor to broaden his thinking to see other possibilities. He was blinded by his arrogance and this is what arrogance does to anyone at any time, whether in carrying a light weight brick or in meeting life's greater challenges."

Dick Print Friendly and PDF

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