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My friend called me and said I want to talk to you. I said go ahead we can speak. He asked for specific time as his conversation was likely to be a longer one. So, we decided to speak after office hours on a Friday evening.

He called me and said – “You know what? I always took your opinions constructively and learnt from it. Whenever you spoke with me and at times when you badgered me for my naivety or mistakes it was learning. Now when I recently had a very bad such opinion from someone, I felt like getting buried in sand.”

I was surprised. I am bit harsh some times, however I never knew that I am pursued like this by someone. Yes, intentions were most of the times for helping the person. So, I asked for more details of the recent incident. He obliged and gave me a detailed account of what has just happened with him.

My friend was visibly upset. I knew he was kind enough not to give as good as he had got. Possibly he was not upto it, or he was not in such position. I sensed he was unhappy and this recent incident was depressing. So, I shared the following story with him –

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Happiness

Traveller; “What kind of weather are we going to have today?”
Shepherd: “The kind of weather I like.”
“How do you know it will be the kind of weather you like?”
“Having found out, sir, that I cannot always get what I like, I have learnt always to like what I get. So I am quite sure we will have the kind of weather I like.”

Happiness and unhappiness are in the way we meet events, not in the nature of those events themselves.

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We concluded the call, I said lets try to look at brighter side you learnt something. So, he himself concluded few points. One point was – next time if something goes beyond the agenda of discussion, I would bring it on agenda or I will stop digression. This is a common problem with many of us today. The digression was the culprit for my friend predicament. Not just digression but also little attention span. Well, I have to learn a lot before becoming such a coach to someone. My friend was kind enough to think I can be of any assistance.

Story sourcePrayer of the frog book by Fr Antony DeMello, the book is available in two volumes Volume 1 and Volume 2.