In ancient times a story was told about a young boy who, every morning, would go outside the city gates and lean up against the city walls just grumpy all the time. He wasted time by throwing rocks at the trees in the distance to see if he could hit them.
He never helped his family with work around the house, although the elders, who stood by the gate of the city, tried to talk with him about the importance of helping family.
They asked him, “Why are you always leaning on the walls out here? Why don’t you at least go to play with the other kids?”
With one toss of the rock in his hand, a grunt then a coy smile the boy said, “I want to meet the guru.”
The guru was a legend that the elders told. It was said that once every year ‘the guru’ passes every city and blesses it with wisdom.
“I’ve missed him every year! Now I’m twelve and I’m not going to miss him again. I’m going to stand here every day until I see him” the boy continued.
“What do you want from him?” the elders asked shaking there head knowing that none has ever seen this guru. They thought it to just be legend.
“I want him to teach me wisdom!”
Just as the elders were dismissing the imagination of the young boy, they heard him yell “The guru! The guru!” They turned and looked in the direction the young boy’s extended fingers were pointing. And coming in view from the side of the city walls was a small caravan not known to the eyes of the elders of that town. But the boy just had a knowing in his gut so he took off running to see if his hunch was right.
And yes indeed, it was the guru. But the caravan looked like it was just passing on.
“Where are you going guru!?” the boy excitedly inquired, “Aren’t you supposed to stop at every city!?”
“I never stop at your city young man because I was never invited to enter the gates. But since you stopped me….why did you stop me?”
“I want you to teach me wisdom.” The boy yelled, “I’ve been waiting outside my city’s walls every day for you to pass!”
“Every day?” the guru asked…the young boy nodded, “You didn’t go playing with other kids?” the boy shook his head, “You didn’t do chores around your house?” the boy reluctantly shook his head no. “So then, since you did all of that just to meet me…what do you want from me?”
“I want you to teach me!”
The wise guru looked up at the elders in the gate of the city in the distance then peered into the eyes of the boy then looked back up at the elders and said to the boy, “Well then Learn.”
“What should I learn!? How do I learn!?”
The guru closed his eyes and thought for a second, took a deep breath and said, “You learn through actions. And for you it will be actions of helping others.”
The young boy put his head down underwhelmed by the advice from the guru. Was this the information he waited so long to hear? Another adult telling him to help around the house? He wanted to know about wisdom!
Then the guru continued, “I don’t possess wisdom I understand it. Wisdom is all around you, you just have to choose to seek it out. You seek it through acting then learning from what you just acted on. It’s found buried in what you can understand about the things you are doing.”
The guru saw in the young boy’s eyes that he was taking in what was just said.
“I could’ve taught you more, but you already decided before hand what I could tell you.”
“How’s that.” the young boy now dull in his response. The wonder of the guru wore thin with him.
“If there is one thing that you must take-away with what I’m telling you right now it’s this…What you can learn in the future will always be limited by what you choose to learn now… in your present moments.”
And with that the guru’s caravan trekked away.