“Diogenes was knee deep in a stream washing vegetables. Coming up to him Plato said, ‘My good Diogenes, if you knew how to pay court to kings, you wouldn’t have to wash vegetables.’ ‘And,’ replied Diogenes, ‘If you knew how to wash vegetables, you wouldn’t have to pay court to kings.’”
I laugh as I heard this simple story. Even in ancient times, the acquisition of material possessions and the trappings of power was deemed more important than anything else. Yet the eternal wisdom comes forth when we stop grabbing at what never truly satisfies us and we allow the nature of things to be our true guide.
After many years of working with large and small companies, I am again reminded of what is important. It is not the next meeting that I will attend to get the contract completed or the customer deal. It is not the late night flight I must catch to be at the early morning meeting. It is the time I spend watching my small child learn to walk. It is the sunrise on the morning after the storm that reminds me of true power. It is the smile of my beloved that lingers long after she has departed.
Remembering what is truly important allows me to let go of attachment to accomplishments and let the broken promises only be gentle lessons rather than terrible devastations.
I am grateful for all the teachers who provide me with opportunities to learn.