He was an ordinary man like you and me; spending his days in agony. There were moments when he was happy; but he wasn’t sure if it was deliverance or ignorance or simple denial. He knew that any permanent solution to his troubles continued to evade him. He searched and searched but could not find a way out. And then one day… he heard of a sage, who lived in the wilderness, cut off from his age, alive in a universe of his own. They said he had the answer to everything, so he started on the journey to find him.
It took him a long time but he got there. One look at the wise man and he knew he’d find something here. He got down on his knees and began his list of pleas. “I am fed up, O sage! I can’t take it anymore. I expected so much from life, but it turned out to be such a bore. I am sick and I am sad, I am lonely and I’ve been bad. I have no money, no assets, no place to call my home. My wife doesn’t love me, friends have left me all alone. I have a constant toothache and a nagging pain in my heart, I have built castles of dreams and then seen them torn apart. I know there must be a remedy but I don’t know where to start. O sage! They have told me, you have all the answers. Please help me, O father! Help me get rid of these cancers. Make me free of all my woes, all my illnesses, all my vice. Help me get rid of all my troubles, I want solutions, not advice.”
The sage smiled and asked him to lie down. Then he put his mouth close to his ear. Just before he slit his throat, he whispered only this. “Be thankful for what you have, be careful for what you wish!”