Elf: This hen is so wonderful that every day it lays a golden egg.[…] The next day. Farmer: Oh… it is very true! It’s a solid gold egg! He took the egg, went to town and sold it. […] Next day when he woke up, he went straight to see if there was another golden egg.
Farmer: Good… another golden egg! I’ll sell it right away.
As the farmer grew richer, he also became greedy and stingy.[…] And he thought: I am going to kill the hen and I’ll find the gold mine she has inside. I will have all her treasure at once!
So he cut her open and found nothing at all.
We all know that this fable teaches us that “if you’re too greedy, you end up with nothing“.
However, its scope is far wider. We all have a number of assets: health, money, properties, academic and professional qualifications, etc. We also study and work hard because we want good academic results, to get a particular job, move up the career ladder, buy a house or a car …
I want you to think about this: How many times have you seen a colleague who has given his heart and soul to his job? How many people sacrifice friends and family for their career? Every family aspires to get their dream house, and many people become debt-ridden for life to get it.
The moral of the story is plain and simple: do not kill the golden hen. Some people are so blinded by ambition and greed, they completely ignore their resources: health, family, friends, money, etc. We must take good care of the golden hen and learn to “wait” patiently for the right time to come and enjoy the fruits of its labor.
In other words, it is important to appreciate the hen and value its worth. We need to invest in our assets: maintain a healthy lifestyle, find quality time for our friends and family, and do not invest or get into debt beyond our means!
On the other hand, do you want to change the world? As Mahatma Gandhi put it: “We must be the change we wish to see in the world”. He clearly stated that to change society we must start by changing ourselves.
If you want to be highly productive, efficient, and make a difference, you need to be healthy and have integrity.
These two ideas may seem at odds, but, in fact, they rest on the same principle: CHANGE our highly stressful, overscheduled, and sedentary lifestyles (not to mention unhealthy nighttime sleep habits) for the better, so in turn, we will be able to work and perform effectively locally to change the world globally. An example would be to change the food we buy or the amount we waste, so we can eat a more balanced and healthier diet and push for a fairer food system.
In summary, health is the basic resource that will allow us to be happy, enjoy life, reach our full potential and flourish, and be difference makers.