The Art of Possibility by Rosamund Stone Zander and Benjamin Zander
Being with the Way Things Are by Clearing Judgments
“The rain in Florida may be bad for us and good for the citrus crop. A canceled flight may wreck our schedule and bring us face to face with our future spouse in the airport lounge. A forest fire may seem to destroy an ecosystem in the short term, yet renew it with vigor for the long term. When a splendid osprey eats a beautiful fish, it is neither good nor bad. Or, it's good for the osprey and bad for the fish. Nature makes no judgement. Humans do. And while our willingness to distinguish good and evil may be one of our most enhancing attributes, it is important to realize that “good” and “bad” are categories we impose on the world- they are not of the world itself.
A young man goes to see his rabbi. “Rabbi” he asks, “you told us a story- something to do with praise?” The rabbi responds, “Yes, it is thus: when you get some good news, you thank the Lord, and when you get some bad news, you praise the Lord.” “Of course,” replies the man, “I should have remembered. But Rabbi, how do you actually know which is the good news and which is the bad news?” The rabbi smiles. “You are wise, my son. So just to be on the safe side, always thank the Lord.””
ACTION STEP FOR TODAY
Look at something with a thankful spirit that you normally may not be thankful for.
What if you made that a daily practice?
Quotes from: Rosamund Stone Zander and Benjamin Zander, The Art of Possibility (New York: Penguin Books, 2000), pages 89-90.