Sunday, January 04, 2009

Happy New Year!

Despite the uncertainties of the world, I am very hopeful for an upbeat 2009. I am preparing for a Toastmasters speech that I will be giving this week from the advanced "Storytelling" manual. My first assignment is to re-tell a folk tale. After taking out several books from my library, I settled on "Best Loved Stories Told at the National Storytelling Festival."

I chose "A Fisherman and His Wife" told by Carol Birch. The story is especially timely and is about a man and his wife trying to find contentment in their lives. The fisherman finds a magic fish that grants him three wishes. After asking to be a prosperous vineyard owner and the mayor of the village, the man and his wife still cannot find happiness. Finally the fish returns the man and his wife to their original life, but they now appreciate all that they have in their lives.

This is a lesson for all of us. We live in a society where we are told by advertisers that we need a particular item to be happy. Many of us, myself included, often compare our possessions with those of our neighbors and we feel like we don't have enough. Many of us are looking for answers from other sources when they are often right in front of us or within us in the first place. As we enter 2009, let us be grateful and have a deep appreciation for the bounty that we have in our lives.

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