Monday, November 9, 2009
Mountain Movers and Gamblers
Chinese Lesson: The Old Fool Moves a Mountain
Thousands of years ago in Mainland China, there was a man who lived in the mountains with his family. He was a hard working and very diligent in everything he did to provide for his family. As he worked day in and day out he began to realize that there was a enormous obstacle in his way that prevented him from being able to provide well for his family. That obstacle just so happened to be an gigantic mountain.
He decided that he must move this mountain so that his posterity could have a smoother path. Every day after he performed his daily labors he would go to the mountain and shovel for as long and as hard as his strength would permit. He did this everyday for several years. People walking by would stop and tell him that he was a fool, he was stupid, there was no way he could ever move an entire mountain. Nearly every day somebody would come and try to convince him to stop his foolish digging. But this old man continued.
Finally after years of digging, the mountain showed no sign of change. However, the man did not care, he was determined to move the mountain, so he kept digging. The Chinese god’s watched this man everyday and were so dumbfounded by his wasted efforts. After seeing the old man struggle for years to move this mountain, the gods were so moved by his determination and persistence that they moved the mountain for him.
Old fools can move mountains.
I may not be that old, but sometimes I do feel like a fool trying to move a mountain by myself. There are so many great things that I love about this Chinese Legend. I am not going to even tell you why I like it, read it yourself and pick out the parts you like.
This week we were really busy preparing for Zone Conference. We hold one conference here in Taichung and one in Kaohsiung. Since they are in 2 different places it is a pain to prepare for, but it is over, the mountain has been moved.
Last night when we were contacting people on the street, I ran into the most normal homeless man I have ever met in my entire life. Normally, the homeless aren’t that normal. But his guy was completely normal. He told me his story. He said:
“Several years ago I was a very wealthy business man. I had a wife, 2 kids, a great job, a nice car, I had everything, until I lost it all in one night.”
After he said this to me I was so intrigued that I had to listen. He continued and said, “I used to love to play Majiang (Chinese Checkers), I would play on the weekends and sometimes at work when we had a break. After playing for a while me and my friends would go to watch the professionals play and we started betting. First we started betting small until finally we were betting in upwards of 10,000 USD. My good friend told me that there was a big match coming up and that he had the inside scoop, so we could bet and make a lot of money.”
Little did this poor man know that his friend had rigged a game. This guy bet everything he had and lost. He told me at first he didn’t even know what had happened, he thought how could it be. It wasn’t until several weeks afterwards that he found out that his so called friend had cheated him.
Anyways, long story short. This guy is very intelligent, very hard working, but since the economy is terrible right now he cannot find a job. He wants to find a manual labor job which is weird because he is so smart. The most interesting thing about this man was that he was very happy. I even asked him, why in the world are you so happy and he smiled and said. “it’s my own fault, that I don’t have any money, and I only have 3 options. The first option, I can be mad at myself for being so stupid, the second option I can be mad at my friend for cheating me, or the third option I can forget about it and start over.” He chose the third option. This man was amazing, he didn’t even ask for money or anything. He flat out told me “I need to pay the price for my actions, so I will not borrow money from my family.” It was almost like he was teaching himself a lesson. Another sad thing about his man was that they wouldn’t even let him in the homeless shelter here. To get into a homeless shelter you have to have your Government ID. Anyways, the workers at the homeless shelter said that he couldn’t stay there because he was from Taipei. Isn’t that crazy? You can only go to a homeless shelter in the city you are registered in.
He is coming to Church on Sunday! I normally am a little apprehensive to bring homeless people into the church because the majority of them are a little crazy. But I am telling you this guy is just like you and me. Average Joe who did something really stupid.
Go move some mountains!
Elder Craig Anderson