The Sweet And Sour Of Life
There was once a rich man by the name of Yin who spent his whole energy making money. His servants had to work from morning till night without a moment's rest.
Yin had an old servant who was slow in his work, but Yin pushed him all the more. The dog-tired servant laboured himself to exhaustion, moaning and groaning.
When night fell, the old man collapsed on his bed and instantly sank into a deep sleep. In his dreams he became a king, living in great luxury. He was as happy as he could be.
Yet the moment he woke up, he had to toil again. His friends felt sorry for him.
The old man accepted his lot without grudge. "Our lifetime is made up of equal parts of days and nights," he told them. "As a servant in the day, I have to toil hard. However, in my dreams at night, I become a king. My happiness is second to none. I have nothing to complain."
Now Yin was also physically and mentally worn out. At night, when he was fast asleep, he dreamed that he was a servant, always at his master's bidding. He had to do the most unpleasant chores and was often beaten and scolded. life was a pain beyond description.
He moaned and groaned in his sleep until dawn. Finally, Yin could not bear it any longer and sought the wisdom of a friend.
"Although you're a rich man of high social rank," observed his friend,"in your dreams at night, you become somebody else's servant. Life indeed has its sweet and sour. I'm afraid it is quite impossible to have the best of both worlds."
The friend's remark shed a new light on the matter, and Yin began to reflect on the root of his trouble.
After some hard thinking, he reduced the work load of his servants and relaxed his own concerns as well. Before long their pains wer all eased.