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March 4, 2014

Natural Progression

On a cold, windy day, I passed two older people braving the bone chilling conditions. They were standing over a grave. I wondered who it was they were ‘visiting’. I found it touching that they were brave the inclement weather to remember someone. A parent, a child perhaps who died young. They say that is the greatest stress of all, having a child die before you do. There is the story of a rich man who came to a temple and asked the master what the secret to happiness was so that he could purchase it. “Such a thing is not a secret, nor can it be bought“ said the master “but I can tell you what happiness is; Father dies, son dies, grandson dies." The rich man became angry. "What kind of stupid answer is that?" he demanded. “I asked you for the secret to happiness”! The teacher calmly explained, "If your son died before you, would that not grieve you greatly? The man nodded his head. “If your grandson should die before your son, both of you would be broken-hearted. If your family, generation after generation, passes away in the order I have named, it will be the natural course of life. Would there be a greater happiness you could have?"