Gobble, gobble everyone!
It’s Thanksgiving time. As a frugal geek, it’s only natural that I would love a holiday geared towards contentment. In addition, I am purposely making extra food to freeze throughout the week. I will also save all the turkey broth I can and freeze it for amazing soups in the following months. Needless to say, I am full of glee this holiday season.
The purpose of today’s post
As you may have read, my family became debt free homeowners this year. Yes, I am super proud of this purchase. However, after I paid for the home I have to admit, there was still a little voice in my head that tried to persuade me. This fellow would say things like, “why don’t you buy a home with a basement”, “the homes down the street have a third car garage”, “can you believe the home values have increased, you should sell now and upgrade!”.
I think this character in my head is a thief. Unlike the traditional thieves, who steal our possessions. This thief in my head causes me to consume and accumulate more thus robbing me of contentment. He will always be with me.
But I don’t have to be a victim. There is always a time where we need to make a purchase. But we have to be sober-minded because the thief in my head likes to blur the line between a need and a want.
Because of this, I decided to share a little story that reminds me of today’s holiday. I also like to read this story when that sneaky thief whispers sweet nothings into my ear.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
A Lesson on Contentment | The Stone Cutter
There was once a stone cutter who was dissatisfied with himself and with his position in life. One day he passed a wealthy merchant’s house. Through the open gateway, he saw many fine possessions and important visitors. “How powerful that merchant must be!” thought the stone cutter. He became very envious and wished that he could be like the merchant.
To his great surprise, he suddenly became the merchant, enjoying more luxuries and power than he had ever imagined, but envied and detested by those less wealthy than himself. Soon a high official passed by, carried in a sedan chair, accompanied by attendants and escorted by soldiers beating gongs. Everyone, no matter how wealthy, had to bow low before the procession. “How powerful that official is!” he thought. “I wish that I could be a high official!”
Then he became the high official, carried everywhere in his embroidered sedan chair, feared and hated by the people all around. It was a hot summer day, so the official felt very uncomfortable in the sticky sedan chair. He looked up at the sun. It shone proudly in the sky, unaffected by his presence. “How powerful the sun is!” he thought. “I wish that I could be the sun!”
Then he became the sun, shining fiercely down on everyone, scorching the fields, cursed by the farmers and laborers. But a huge black cloud moved between him and the earth, so that his light could no longer shine on everything below. “How powerful that storm cloud is!” he thought. “I wish that I could be a cloud!”
Then he became the cloud, flooding the fields and villages, shouted at by everyone. But soon he found that he was being pushed away by some great force, and realized that it was the wind. “How powerful it is!” he thought. “I wish that I could be the wind!”
Then he became the wind, blowing tiles off the roofs of houses, uprooting trees, feared and hated by all below him. But after a while, he ran up against something that would not move, no matter how forcefully he blew against it – a huge, towering rock. “How powerful that rock is!” he thought. “I wish that I could be a rock!”
Then he became the rock, more powerful than anything else on earth. But as he stood there, he heard the sound of a hammer pounding a chisel into the hard surface, and felt himself being changed. “What could be more powerful than I, the rock?” he thought.
He looked down and saw far below him the figure of a stone cutter.