A Man Stood

The Indian mystic Ramakrishna used to say: God laughs when he sees two brothers divide their land by means of a boundary line saying, “This side belongs to me and the other side to you.”  God says, “The universe belongs to me and they claim two portions of it!” and the Buddha said, “A man says, ‘This land is mine….’ Such are the words of the fool who does not understand that even he is not his.”

A man stood in front of his newly

remodeled home in a very nice

homeowners’ association in the


dunes along a big lake. Speaking

in growing agitation, in a low, growly

voice, “When I bought this house,”


he said stabbing the air rapidly as

he pointed in the direction of the

house, “and sank a ton of money


into it to have it fit into this neigh-

borhood, I, at least, thought I was

getting a private beach!” Much to


his chagrin, he has to share the beach

with summer vacationers who rent

on the next street where renting


is permitted. Apparently, when he

bought, he was not aware of the co-

nnection with the neighbors. He was


not a happy man, but his unhappi-

ness started long before he bought

the house, sank a ton of money into


it so that it fit into the nice home-

owners’ association and thought

he was buying private access to


his very own private beach. His

unhappiness started when he be-

gan thinking of himself as the


owner of a little, red wagon and

he wouldn’t give rides in it to

the neighbor kids. Funny thing;


that way, he never got to ride,

either. He just pulled looking

back at the wagon…longingly.


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