The Seventh Part of the Village

Once upon a time there was a village in the Valley of Paradise.  In the middle of the valley there was a river.  On one side of the river, the village was set up into six parts.  The outermost part was where all the farmers lived and worked.  The land was fertile and the crops were abundant.  Adjacent to the farmers were the supply stores for the farmers to buy the seeds to plant their crops.  This was the second part of the village.  The third part of the village was made up of mills which produced wood and building material from the trees that lined the mountains on either side of the valley.  The fourth part of the village had tailors and seamstresses who made clothes.  The fifth part of the village was made up of stores to sell the food harvested by the farmers, the wood cut from the trees and the clothes made in the fourth part.  The sixth part of the village was where all the restaurants and taverns were located.  The seventh part of the village was across the river accessible by a wooden bridge only wide enough for one person. This part had only one building, a temple.

The villagers spent their days working and living in the six parts of the village except for one, the seventh day.  On that day all the villagers would go across the river one by one to the temple.

One day a young boy asked his father, “why do we only go to the temple once each week?”  The father replied, “it is our custom to work six days to provide for our physical needs and one day to give thanks for all we have and seek enlightenment.”  The boy didn’t say anything else and went about his chores.  The seventh day came and all the villagers went to the temple as usual, including the little boy.  Upon exiting the temple, he went to the priest and asked, “what do you do all week when we are not here?”  The wise priest said, “I give thanks for all I have and the people of the village.”  The boy looked puzzled and asked, “If all you do is give thanks, then how do you eat or buy clothes?”  The priest smiled and said, “The village gives its thanks buy donating food, clothes and money to the temple.  Let me ask you something, would you rather work all week and give? Or would you rather be thankful and receive?”  The boy thought for a moment, then replied, “I’d rather be thankful and receive.”  The priest then said, “Now you are enlightened.”



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