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The Trench

8 Oct 2015   Shanti Gowans

Tom and Mary retired to the country, and lived in a small isolated cottage, overlooking some rugged and rocky scenery.

One early morning, Mary saw from her window, a young man, dressed in working clothes, walking on the path about a hundred yards away. He was carrying a spade and a small case and he disappeared from view behind a copse of trees. Mary thought no more about it but around the same time the next day, she saw the man again, carrying his spade and a small case, who again disappeared behind the copse. Mary mentioned this to Tom, her husband, who summised that he was probably a farmer or gamekeeper setting traps, or performing some other country practice that would be perfectly normal, and so not to worry.

However, after several more sightings of the young man with the spade over the next two weeks, Mary persuaded Tom to take an early stroll, before the man tended to arrive, to the copse of trees to investigate what he was doing. There they found a surprisingly long and deep trench, rough and uneven at one end, becoming much neater and tidier towards the other end.

“How strange,” Mary said, “Why dig a trench here, and in such difficult, rocky ground?”

Tom agreed.

Just then the young man appeared, earlier than his usual time.

“You’re early,” said Mary, making light of their obvious curiosity,

“We wondered what you were doing and we also wondered what was in the case.”

“I’m digging a trench,” said the man, and then realising a bigger explanation was appropriate, continued “I’m actually learning how to dig a good trench because the job I’m being interviewed for later today says that experience is essential, so I’m getting the experience. And the case…it’s got my lunch in it.”

He got the job.

My friend, what does this story tell you?

Why did the man get the job?

Would you think his attitude and commitment played a part in it?


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About Shantiji

Shanti Gowans is the globally recognised author and founder of Shanti Yoga™, Meditation and Ayurveda for the self, family and community.

Shantiji has brought the concepts and practices of a healthy body and a still mind to thousands of Australians through her Yoga and Meditation programs on national television... Read more about Shantiji's biography


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