There was once a hard working man named Yu. He worked a patch of land at the base of a big hill. The same patch he had worked for many years. Sting, sting, sting the sweat flooded his eyes. Drip, drip, drip the sweat fell from his nose. Dig, dig, dig his shovel groaned.
An old man passed by. What are you looking for he asked. My freedom replied Yu. You’re looking in the wrong place said the old man. It’s on the the other side of the hill. It’s in a cave. The treasure that you seek is always in the cave you fear to go said the old man. Come. I’ll show you how to get there.
Yu had never been to the top of the hill. He often wondered what it looked like. He had been told the view was very beautiful. What would he see? He rarely looked up at the hill for every time he did the sweat would drip drip drip into his eyes and he would have to quickly turn away and keep digging.
You are wrong old man. You and stories of caves and treasure. You are a foolish old man. Be off with you.
Yu knew that one day the blade of shovel would strike the freedom he had worked so hard for. He knew in his mind this to be true. His father had told Yu so. Yu’s father learned this from his father and this father from the father before him. Sting, sting, sting the sweat flooded his eyes. Drip, drip, drip the sweat fell from his nose. Dig, dig, dig his shovel groaned.
One day a woman was walking by and asked what are you digging for? My freedom said Yu. He tried to make out her face but the sweat of belief blinded him so he put his nose to the shovel again and kept digging. He couldn’t see that it was really Certainty dressed up as a woman.
That night Certainty returned and stole all of Yu’s freedom right from under his nose. Certainty loved stealing everybody’s freedom. It was the most valuable possession in all the land. After all, Yu’s father and his father and his father before him had fought hard to protect their freedom.
So Yu wouldn’t get suspicious, she replaced all the freedom with comfort and painted it up to look like freedom. As long as Yu didn’t look to hard it would always look like freedom. And Certainty cleverly left a little bit of freedom shining through the dirt.
Next day Yu was over joyed. The blade of his shovel clanged on the first drive. It seemed too good to be true. He had found his freedom.
Yu revelled in his freedom. He ate and sang and was entertained and worked less and less. One day the freedom didn’t seem to work so well. As the days moved on freedom worked less and less again. Yu got angry and grabbed the freedom hard and it shattered and turned to dust. Disillusioned and confused Yu started digging again. If only I can work a little harder I’ll find real freedom he thought.
The old man walked by again. Have you found your freedom yet he called.
Yu remembered the old man’s stories. This time he put down his shovel. This time he lowered his guard. This time he listened.
The treasure that you seek is always in the cave you fear to go repeated the old man. The path to the treasure you seek is very clear. Keep walking. Keep your eyes ahead. You don’t need a map. You just need to look straight ahead and keep walking.
I must warn you said the old man. Along the way you will meet many people. These people will all say you are going the wrong way. Turn back. Turn back they will say.
These people will all look different but they are not. They are all the one person. Her name is Resistance. Resistance is a master of disguise. Resistance will stop at nothing for she can only survive if you never reach the treasure you seek.
Resistance is sly and cunning. Resistance will look like commonsense. Resistance will look like your family and friends. Resistance will lie to you. Resistance will push down on your eyelids in mornings. Resistance will wait for your weak moments then pounce. Resistance will have spoken to fear and said act bigger than you really are. Look scary. Resistance will be in your ear the entire time. She will whisper but get louder the closer to the cave you get. Resistance can only live if your dreams die.
She will put walls in front of you. Keep walking they are not real. Resistance will carve a great chasm for you to cross. It will only be in your mind. Remember the path is simple. Keep taking the steps and you will reach the cave into which you fear to go.
I will be there with you. I cannot take the steps for you. I can only remind you to stay looking ahead and to keep walking. Shall we start said the old man?
Yu paused to let his head and his heart speak. Yes, yes, yes said his heart. Yes, yes, yes his mind agreed. No, no, no whispered Resistance shocked at what was happening. Yu leaned into the hill and started.
I knew that Yu could do it.
Julian Mather 22.3.17
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