You’ve Got 83 Problems

Here’s a little story…

Many centuries ago, the Buddha was sitting meditating under a tree when he was approached by a disciple.

The man, who appeared to be in an agitated state, said he had a problem and he wanted the Buddha to help him solve it.

He went away after the Buddha told him that he was not able to help.

The next day the man came back, again in a distressed state, and told the Buddha that he had a different problem and he would like the help in solving it.

Again same thing happened. The Buddha said he was not able to help.

The next day, the man returned. He said he had yet another problem and that he would like help in solving.

The Buddha looked at him and said, “I can’t help you with this problem. Nor can I help you with the other eighty two problems.”

“The other eighty two,” the man exclaimed.

“Yes” said the Buddha, “Everyone always has eighty three problems. I’m sorry but I cannot help you with any of those, but I can help you with problem eighty four.”

“I don’t understand” said the man. “What is problem eighty four?”

“Problem eighty four,” began the Buddha, “is that you do not realise that problems will always exist. You will always have problems. You cannot go through life problem free. It is totally pointless getting upset about the problems you have. Even if I could somehow today help you get rid of all your problems, tomorrow you would have a host of new ones. The secret is not to get emotionally attached. Try to solve them by all means, but if you can’t, don’t fret. They will be solved in time.”

And so it is with all of us. We all want a worry free existence. But if you think about it, it’s not possible.

Take an example. Let’s say your biggest problem is shortage of money. Now what would happen if you won the lottery tomorrow? Would your problems go away? Yes and no.

Sure, you wouldn’t have the problem of shortage of money, that’s true. That would have gone.

But then you would find you had inherited a new set.

Suddenly you would have to think what to do with it. Do you keep it in the bank, under the bed, in a hedge fund, or in company stocks?

Then there’s the dilemma of family. How much, if anything, do you give them?

Because, you can bet on the fact that what ever amount you give, some one will not be happy.

And of course, with the money, you will probably buy a big new house and worry the fact you have become a target for thieves. Now you have to fret over the security system and if it’s up to the job of protecting your newly gained wealth.

So the bottom line is, we’ve all got problems. The best you can do is to solve them if you can, but don’t worry about them if you can’t. Let them go.

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