Once there was a young man who lived in a valley and went about his life happily, until one day the great snows came which changed everything. Now he found it very difficult to move about, and every step through the deep snow was a struggle. This became depressing, and the young man prayed to find a solution to his now difficult life.
One morning his prayers were answered, when he saw an older man walking across the surface of the snow wearing what could only be described as tennis rackets on his feet. The young man watched him cross the snow-covered landscape with ease and with none of the struggle that he had been experiencing. So he approached the older man and asked how he could acquire such wondrous footwear.
The older man was wise and liked to share his knowledge, and so he showed the young man how to gather and bind the right type of materials and before long he had created his very own snowshoes. He was filled with excitement as he effortlessly moved across the valley of snow and he shared his discovery with all that asked and life became comfortable and fulfilling for all of them.
Now this would have been the end of the story if the young man had not spied a rocky mountain at the edge of his valley. He was drawn there repeatedly and he started to think about what might lie beyond the secure valley life he knew so well. One day he finally plucked up the courage to climb the mountain, but he failed miserably; again and again he tried, but he hardly made any distance before he fell back to the soft snow of the valley below. So he took to sitting at the foot of the mountain dreaming of what life would be like above in the clouds.
Then one morning he saw movement above him on the cliff face and squinting, saw the older man scrambling across the rocky terrain like a mountain goat. He was so excited and called out to him, asking how he moved with such ease when he himself had found it so difficult. The older man was quiet for a moment and then lovingly said, “You’ll need some of these!” Raising his feet, he revealed the sharp metal teeth attached to his boots, which he called crampons. When he climbed down, the older man removed the crampons and handed them to the young man as a gift.
Quickly the young man tried to put them onto his boots, but he could not make them fit! The older man laughed sympathetically and told him that he would have to take off the snowshoes to put on the crampons. The young man became confused. His snowshoes had served him so well that they had become a part of him, and he did not feel he could do without them.
Fear rose within him as he recalled his earlier struggles before acquiring the snowshoes, yet greater than this fear was his yearning to explore the unknown heights of the mountain. He slowly removed his snowshoes, offering them to the older man in exchange, and then fitting his new crampons on his empty boots, he set off.
The young man explored all the riches of the mountain, and then one day he came to the summit and saw an amazing slope of snow leading down to the ocean. Once again he yearned for a new experience, but this time set aside his crampons without regret and fashioning skis out of wood, he launched himself off down the mountain to a whole new adventure! …And he had many more!
The moral of this story is – What served you once may not serve you now, so release the old for the new, be grateful but unattached!
A Parable from The BIG U – A Guide to Self Revolution