The Three Questions
"Remember then that there is only one important time, and that time is now. The most important one is always the one you are with. And the most important thing is to do good for the one who is standing at your side. For these, my dear boy, are the answers to what is most important in this world."
So says the old turtle to the boy, in answer to three questions.
The three questions, if answered, the boy had thought, would help him be the good person he desired to be.
When is the best time to do things? Who is the most important one? What is the right thing to do?
The children's tale that poses these questions and gives answer through story is based on Tolstoy's "The Three Questions." On reading the tale, I found myself alternately thinking, "This is absolutely it!" and "This is no good at all." For sometimes we should wait, not act; the time is later. Sometimes the most important person is away, not near. Sometimes the good we need to do concerns those who are invisible, not perceived at our side.
Then, as I say, I would suddenly think, "But if I act as if this very moment is most urgent, and attend keenly to the ones I am with, and do good to the one who's standing by my side, would not all the rest fall into place? Would I not know when to wait, would I not do justice to those far away, would I not do good to the invisible?"
You see what I mean. For a story of only three questions, it pushed me to a world of wondering.
The Way photo, by Martin Stickland. Used with permission.
LL's thoughts on using or losing our gifts, Don't Give Your Gifts a Haircut, at the The High Calling