Welcome to the archived web site of
Will Joel Friedman, Ph.D. Psychologist (1950-2013)
California License No. PSY 10092
Specializing in Presence-Centered Therapy
balancing mind and heart, body and spirit
Now in memoriam - This website is no longer being updated
Articles by Dr. Friedman (except where noted otherwise)
You Don't Know How Good You Have ItIt Could Always Be Worse!
A farmer seeks out his rabbi's counsel because his life is in mayhem. His wife unrelentingly nags him, his children unstoppably fight, and everything around him is in utter disorder, chaos and uproar.The rabbi tells him, "Go home and immediately move the chickens into the house."
"Into the house!" bellows the farmer. "But what good will come out of doing this?"
The rabbi quietly and calmly reassures him that this is the only right and fitting action and sends him home.
Only two days later the farmer is again in front of the rabbi, even more frazzled and frantic than before. "Now my wife nags me even more, the children have broadened their fighting to include the chickens, and the chickens are all over the house. They upset the furniture, drop feathers, lay eggs and peck at our food! What an incredible mess, rabbi! You've got to help me. What am I to do?"
The rabbi tells him in no uncertain terms to go back to his farm and bring the cow into the house.
"THE COW!!" cries the overwhelmed farmer. "You must be kidding. That would only make things worse yet!!"
"Do as I say and come back in a few days to see me again," the rabbi responded.
A few days later, the farmer shows up in front of the rabbi literally pulling his hair out. "My plight is a desperate one! You've got to help me! The chickens are everywhere and getting into everything, the cow has knocked over the furniture and broken several pieces of fine china, the children are fighting worse than ever and my wife is at her wit's end. Your advice has only made things unbearable and nothing is helping a bit."
The rabbi, showing great compassion for the farmer's dilemma, replied, "Now, bring the horse into your house as well," and sent the farmer home.
The frantic man returns home, follows the suggestion of the rabbi, but returns early the next day in utter and complete despair. "Rabbi, we are out of room! There is no place for my family to live with the horse and the cow smashing into all our possessions and the chickens running every which way. Our lives are in total shambles. What are we to do?"
The rabbi, with a sly hint of a smile on his lips, says, "Go home and promptly take the horse and the chow and the chickens out of your house."
The farmer does as he is told and comes back the very next day smiling broadly and appearing quite happy. "Rabbi, our lives are nearly perfect! My family is again calm and peaceful. With the horse and the cow and the chickens gone, we are a loving family again. How can I thank you?"
The rabbi smiled broadly, and knowingly.
© Copyright 2013 by Will Joel Friedman, Ph.D.
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