The Background: A number of years ago, fresh out of the Navy, I experienced some significant financial challenges in my life. Down on luck, cash, and resolve, I went to a friend (one who had quite a bit of money) and asked for a short-term loan. He refused, and I was very disappointed. Steadfast in his decision, he told me that he would change my life. He revealed to me that he, too, had been in a similar situation in his youth... and that he went to a friend to obtain a loan, and was also refused. He was instead given a story... a story he was now going to pay forward with me. This is that story. It changed my perspective, and my life. P. Rettis: Wherever you are, I am indebted to you.
The Lion Story
A long time ago there was a man who loved his son very much. The mother died in childbirth, and so the boy and his father grew very close. When the boy turned 18, the father turned to him and said, "Son, I have taught you all that I can. It is now time for you to go out into the world and get your own experiences."
The boy looked upset until his father smiled broadly, and added, "Don't worry; you won't be without me. Please take my ring with you." And as the father handed his son his ring, the boy noticed that the ring had a small clasp on it, as if it would open. The father got close to his son, looked around to ensure their privacy and leaned in, whispering, "Inside this ring is a magic scroll. The words on it will get you out of any trouble you find yourself in. But, there is a catch; it can only be used one time. Use it wisely." The boy inspected the ring and smiled, kissed his father, and stepped out of the house... ready to start out on his adventures.
Over the years, the boy grew into a man, and found himself in a lot of challenging situations—relationships... and break-ups, financial difficulties, depression, divorce, death of family members—but he always pushed his way through, thinking to himself, "No, I don't need the scroll. I can make it through this without it."
At 40 years old, he was with a group on a safari in Africa. But due to the denseness of the jungle, he became separated from his group. As he trudged through the jungle, trying to find his way back to their camp, he became lost... and he noticed that a lion was tracking him... a mere 100 yards away. He began to move faster through the jungle, and as he did the lion started to increase his speed. Soon, the man grew terrified, and began tearing through the jungle. With the lion gaining speed and closing in, the man came out of the jungle....... and into a narrow cul-de-sac with 100ft sheer cliffs on all sides. When he turned around from the back of the cul-de-sac, the lion exited the jungle and started to slowly approach, clearly moving in for the kill.
Recognizing his fate, the man realized that this was a doomed situation with no way out; he needed the scroll. As the lion started in, the man took off the ring. The lion was now at full gallop, and the man opened the clasp, pulled out the magic scroll... and as the lion was about to pounce, the man unrolled it and read:
"And this, too, shall pass."
MORAL: Whether the man lives or dies is irrelevant. The man learned that no matter how bad or challenging a situation is, it is never permanent. He just never realized that he had learned that lesson throughout his entire life. Hopefully you have learned it earlier than he did.