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In journey of life, don’t pack disposables

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My wife gave me this idea. I gave it context. And I love the theme. Once upon a time, in a land far away, there lived a princess. She was by all accounts very happy. Very happy indeed. And she was even happier when she met a young lad who worked in the stables. He, too, it seemed was made happier by her, and so they tentatively and nervously approached the king to ask if they could marry.

He wasn’t a bad sort. The king. And after some thought, said the following, in the enigmatic way that kings in these types of stories tend to do. “Son [I assume he hadn’t yet learned his name], go to the strongest waterfall in the land. Fill a cup from the strongest point. And bring it to me. If you manage that, then you will have my blessing to marry my daughter.”

And so he did. As the journey was a long one, he packed light, and threw in some disposable cups for his task. He travelled the two days, rested, and then early in the morning, he climbed to the source. He placed his cup under the powerful torrent only to find that cardboard disintegrated on contact. He tried a few with the same result.

Alas the cup wasn’t the right one! And so, he climbed down and using wood and leaves fashioned a new vessel. Up he climbed again, trapped the water, and down he climbed. Only to find that the water had leaked. And so, with little choice, he took time to find a rock and slowly and laboriously carved a cup into the rock. He clearly wasn’t a Jewish stable hand. It took him weeks.

But in the end, it worked.

Excited as can be, he returned to the king and presented the water with the blushing and expectant bride-to-be at his side. True to his word, the king gave his blessing, and the couple was married.

At the wedding, the now married youngster, aided by the best of wine, plucked up the courage to ask the king what the challenge was all about. “It’s pretty simple son [turns out he wasn’t good with names], I wanted to show you that it’s not only about the power of the waterfall, but equally about the strength of the vessel. If we aren’t strong enough to hold on to the power that comes our way, then it might as well never pass us by.”

We need to be strong enough to hold the content that we encounter. We need to build ourselves and our children, families, our friends, colleagues, and all those we care about, into cups that are able to hold the power and the force that life has to offer us.

Because a cup that’s strong can hold the strongest of content.

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