01/04/2016 11:13 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

A Most Beautiful Story

Two monks were walking slowly across the hills of Sri Lanka, trying to reach their monastery before the beginning of the rainy season. They've been walking for weeks and spent the nights in the homes of strangers along the way.

One evening, they knocked on the door of a rich and powerful man but most feared in that village and asked if they could spend the night in his house. The man was angry to hear their request but having to obey the ancient tradition of offering strangers housing for the night, the man opened the door to his cellar and locked them in there without any food or water. The two monks went to sleep. A few hours before dawn, the young monk woke up and saw his friend fixing the roof of the cellar. "What are you doing?" he asked the old monk. "After the way this man treated us, you're fixing his roof?" The old monk smiled kindly and said: "Things are not always as they seem, my brother."


In the morning, the two monks thanked their host for his hospitality and continued their journey.

At nightfall, they knocked on the door of a very poor man that lived with his young daughter in the middle of nowhere. The man welcomed the two monks in his home, and asked his child to prepare the best meal for their visitors. His wife had died only a few months before and his child was all he had. They lived in a shack and had only one room. The man offered his guests their only bed and slept on the floor. But a few hours before dawn, the young monk opened his eyes and saw the old monk walking in front of the house, without anyone else hearing him. At sunrise, the young monk stepped outside and saw the host and his child crying desperately, on their knees. Their cow -- their only possession -- had died during the night.

The young monk was furious and went to the old monk to confront him: "Last night, I saw you sneaking outside in the dark. What did you do? Why have you done this? Yesterday you fixed the roof of that man's cellar after he locked us there for the night without food or water, and now... Why did you do this to this poor family? They were so kind and generous to us, why did you do this?"

The old monk dropped his eyes to the ground and spoke: "Things are not always as they seem, my brother. Yesterday, I opened my eyes and saw gold hidden in the roof of the cellar. I took a piece of wood and hid the gold so that the owner of the house will never find it. Last night, I walked outside because I saw the Angel of Death coming to take this child. I didn't allow him to enter this house and take the girl, so he took the cow instead. Things are not always as they seem."

When you go in the pursuit of your dreams,
your kindness and your generosity to others will be rewarded manifold,
in ways you will not know or even understand.
When you go in the pursuit of your dreams,
the Power that created this Universe and holds the stars in the sky
will walk with you and protect you in ways you don't even imagine.
Even in your darkest hour, remember:
Things are not always as they seem.

Your friend,
Dr. Dragos

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