Ever since I could remember, I treasured the wisdom of fables and stories with several layers of truth and interpretations. Just as in real life, many times we don’t have “black and white resolutions,” but plenty of “grey” areas. The choice is to either have insomnia for the rest of our lives, or settle for “suspended judgement,” learn a new lesson, move on, learning the art of forgiving but not forgetting.
In this story, there is no happy for ever after ending, but an open end and a lesson which I hope, if you EVER doubt what is being told to you or what YOU experience directly, you will question and check until the truth is uncovered.
Here is the story.
Several people worked in the same office. One of them was a shy introvert, who didn’t belonged to any group. His life was an example of perfect routine and boredom by most people’s standards, but not his. This should be okay, as we live in a free country, and everything is perception.
The man in the story, let’s call him The Hat Man, came to work at 9:00 AM sharp, hang his hat on a hook, worked non stop all day with a half-hour lunch break, and at 5:00 PM sharp, invariably he put his hat back on and left the office! Soon, it became clear to his co-workers that the hat was an important part of his life. It was perhaps, a symbol of a certain standard he worked hard to reach…
One day, before he arrived to the office, the joker of the group had a “funny” idea… to loosen up the “Hat” Man!”
The plan was, that every day, for one week, the group of co-workersgot smaller but identical hats to the one the Hat Man treasured. When he was out of the room for a few minutes (let’s face it, we all have physiological needs:) the co-workers, REPLACED his hat on the hook with identical hats, but they were SMALLER and SMALLER…
Every day, as the hat turned smaller and smaller, the Hat Man became more and more agitated and worried.
“What is the matter, you seem sick,”the co-worker who had the brilliant idea of the joke, asked him.
The Hat Man, wiped the sweat off his face, the color of white chalk, lean over and whispered:
“Please keep this confidential..I think I am very sick or even insane!”
“Oh? What is going on? I am so, so sorry… how could I help you? What is going on?”
“My head is growing! It is growing so fast, my hat no longer fits my head, and it is a fine, made to order hat! I think I might have a tumor… I can’t eat, sleep, all I could think of is that some strange virus… bacteria… The Devil is in my head and will kill me! I am afraid to see a doctor because most likely they will think I am insane and commit me to a psychiatric ward I will loose my job!”
The co-worker looked at the Hat Man, how thin he had become, the dark circles around his eyes and his shaking voice filled with fear, doubts and desperation…He realized that any doctor would have committed the Hat Man to a psych ward!
Suddenly, it was not funny but stupid and dangerous! The “joke” most probably could destroy this man’s life!
He assured the Hat Man that it must be some temporary virus, one of those which comes overnight and goes away overnight and all one could do was to pray and hope it will go away as mysteriously as it descended on his head and life!
At the end of the work day, all the co-workers met at the corner bodega which they visited much to often, and over a few shots of Jack Daniels, decided to end the joke. What was their motivation… was it fear the poor Hat Man might die of a heart attack, or fear if he died there would be an investigation? Did they have mercy on him because they had small brains and didn’t understand the cruelty or the consequences of their “joke” for the Hat Man and themselves?
Regardless why, the original hat re-appeared on the hook and the Hat Man credited his prayers and a Power greater than us for this miracle.
He lived to be a 103 years old! He NEVER took his hat off again, except when he showered. Even then, his dog watched the hat, so the virus of human stupidity could not manifest again!
The morale of the story? It’s up to you! Please share…