“This too shall pass”.
It’s a simple sentence, but a very powerful one when you think about it. It’s certainly one we should all bear in mind as we trundle (or speed) through our day-to-day.
Many, many moons ago there was a great ruler who lived in a grand castle. He had everything he wanted.
Banquets, riches and the adoration of his community.
Yet…even though he had all he should want he wasn’t always happy…
(I bet some of you can relate).
So, as great rulers tend to do when they have a problem, he asked his most valued subjects to help him out.
He wanted them to create something that would make him happy. For some reason or another he decided that this should be in the form of a ring.
(Perhaps he just opened the Argos catalogue at a random page, and went from there).
He gave them the following brief: the ring had to make him happy when he was sad.
As you can imagine there was a lot of head-scratching – as is usually the case with vague briefs.
They consulted engineers, philosophers, carpenters, academics – anyone who might be able to give them some inspiration.
(oh, how difficult the world was before Google or Pinterest!)
Eventually, as you’ll have probably guessed, the phrase they engraved into the ring was:
“this too shall pass”.
They presented it to him with baited breath…and sighed with relief once they saw that he was pleased.
It worked well. Whenever he felt annoyed, angry or sad – he just looked at his ring and it reminded him that everything was temporary. The storm cloud that hung over his head began to wither and disappear.
But then…sometimes when he was happy, he’d accidentally look at his ring and it would dawn on him that happiness and success don’t last forever either.
It was a real double-edged sword. It could take him from sad to happy, and from cheerful to downbeat.
There’s a lesson in here for all of us to take away.
When things go wrong and when, in the words of Daniel Powter, we have a ‘bad day’ – we know that it’ll pass. The storm cloud above our own heads will eventually go, and the sun will creep up over the metaphorical horizon.
…it also means that when we are happy and when we are successful, those days when the sun seems to shine just that bit brighter and we feel a few inches taller, we need to really value those moments.
Because they too will pass.
‘Tis a shame, but as Frank Sinatra once said, “that’s life!”
Keep your chin up when things aren’t going right, and take every reflective moment you can to drink in the good times when you’re in them.