Some Things Are Only By-Products
A man walks into a store with a sign over the door.
“BUY-PRODUCTS” it says.
On a shelf at the back, he sees a line of attractive products with no price tag.
BEING LOVED BY ALL.
THOUGHT LEADER STATUS.
ETERNAL SALVATION. A SENSE OF PURPOSE.
He can’t believe his luck. All the things he has ever wanted.
“Excuse me” he says to the person behind the register. “How much for one of each?”
The attendee looks confused. “What do you mean sir?” She asks.
The man gestures at the shelf behind her, with all the great labels. “I saw the sign over the door, I want to BUY PRODUCTS”.
The lady pauses, and then speaks. “I’m sorry sir, I think you misread”.
“Oh?” The man replies.
“Yes”, she continues “It reads BY-PRODUCTS… not BUY + PRODUCTS”.
The man still looks confused. “I’m confused” he says.
The attendee goes on.
“You can’t pay for these directly. You can’t buy them over-the counter. They can only be given to you as by-products of contribution, of genuine and meaningful work and interest in other people. There is no price tag – they are exchanged to the worthy, those who do not need them”.
“But I’m here now” the man replies, “can’t I just have them?”
“Come back when you don’t need them sir. Come back when you hardly want them at all”
The man looks disappointed and frustrated. “I’m disappointed and frustrated” he says, “how will I ever stop wanting them and being attracted to them so badly? How can I drop them cold turkey?”
“Sir”, the lady pauses and leans in, “don’t drop them. Give the things in your life competition. Force them out of the bucket because of the better things you put in your life.
Ready some Anthony De Mello and relax a little. Focus on what you have. These things are not the main things, they’re by-products”.
“By-products hey?” the man utters one last time.
“Yes sir” the attendee confirms. “BY-PRODUCTS”.