Cure For Sorrow

There is an old Chinese tale about a woman whose only son died. In
her grief, she went to the holy man and said, “What prayers, what
magical incantations do you have to bring my son back to life?”
Instead of sending her away or reasoning with her, he said to her,
“Fetch me a mustard seed from a home that has never known sorrow.
We will use it to drive the sorrow out of your life.” The woman went off
at once in search of that magical mustard seed.
She came first to a splendid mansion, knocked at the door, and said,
“I am looking for a home that has never known sorrow. Is this a
place? It is very important to me.”
They told her, “You’ve certainly come to the wrong place,” and began
to describe all the tragic things that recently had befallen them.
The woman said to herself, “Who is better able to help these poor,
unfortunate people that I, who have had misfortune of my own?” She
stayed to comfort them, and then went on in search of a home that
had never known sorrow. But wherever she turned, in hovels and in
other places, she found one tale after another of sadness and
misfortune. She became so involved in ministering to other people’s
grief that ultimately she forgot about her quest for the magical
mustard seed, never realizing that it had, in fact, driven the sorrow out
of her life.
Cure For Sorrow – Philosophical Stories

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