I love fairytales and children’s stories, they always have a good message and moral to them. One of my favourites has to be the story of Jack and the Beanstalk.
The story is about a mother and her son, Jack, who are so poor they can’t afford to eat. Out of desperation and after selling most of their possessions the mom decides to sell the family cow at the market so they’ll have a little money to get something to eat. So she sends Jack to the market with the cow. Jack, a young impressionable boy, meets an intriguing character along the way and ends up practically giving the cow away for a bunch of so called magic beans. Impressed with himself, Jack then returns home to show his mother what he had attained. Completely flabbergasted and frustrated by his unquestionable stupidity, Jack’s mom furiously grabs the beans from him, throws them out of the window and sends Jack to bed with nothing to eat (they had nothing anyway). The next morning, Jack wakes up to a gigantic beanstalk outside his window (it doesn’t say whether the mom saw it as well or not). He climbs it a couple of times, kills a giant and he and his mom live happily ever after, never to be hungry again.
Based on the basic concept of the story, it isn’t far fetched to assume that many of us can relate to the content of this story, that at some stage or another we have all been in a similar position of poverty. I’m not just talking financially, but emotionally, mentally, spiritually and sometimes even physically too. And out of desperation, we seek out various solutions to our problem in hopes of overcoming. We cry out for help, we beg for an intervention – often expecting to be saved in a logical yet familiar way, something that makes sense to us, forgetting that sometimes, it’s possible to be rescued in the most unconventional ways.
When Jack’s mother sent him to the market, she was expecting money to bail them out of their situation, she never imagined that magic beans would have done the trick. So when the one thing she was hoping for did not come forth, she was angered and upset and sent her son to bed, hungry; and rightly so. In hindsight, his decision was not a smart one; yet at the end of the day, all worked out for their good.
- you’re struggling financially and it seems like gaining more money is the only solution; when in fact, a budgeting/saving course may be what you need.
- you’ve been struggling emotionally with feelings of inadequacy and non-belonging, so you think the only way to deal with them is by “selling” yourself to feel accepted and loved; yet if you could just take a look around and notice the people in your life and how much they love and care for you, you would have proof of how unnecessary that would be.
- you’re not feeling creative enough or clever enough and you think mentally enhancing your brain’s capacity with some “out-of-the-box” chemicals will help, when simple networking and/or researching with the help of others is all you need.
- your body is taking some strain and you think the latest fad medication and quick fix gadgets will help, when actually, all you need is some good sleep, good food and good company.
I’ve learnt that sometimes, the solutions to some of life’s problems will often come in a different packaging to what is expected. What you’re facing right now may be overwhelming, with no hope that you could ever survive. But instead of focusing on the problem, why not start appreciating what you’ve got and how far you have come. This is not to say sit around and mope, but live and expect the unexpected because your solution could be in the small victories you gain each day.