A peasant walks to the market holding a rope in his hand. Tied to the end of the rope is a cow.

People stop and ask him: “why are you tied to the cow?”

“I am not tied to the cow “; he responds, “The cow is tied to me.”

“Well if you are not tied to the cow, why don’t you let go of the rope?”

“I can’t. If I drop the rope, I will lose the cow!”

This is a Buddhist parable.

What it says is that what we control, controls us.

I repeat. Often we believe that by controlling something we are buying safety; that we have gained freedom. Why? Presumably because we now control the situation. But just the opposite is true. The more we control, the more we in turn are controlled.

Take the founder of a company who is afraid to lose his business. He or she is obsessed with the idea of control. But in reality, he has become the slave of what he is trying to master.

Interesting to me is the moral of the story: Do not try to control anything, and nothing will control you. But by letting “others” be free, you yourself are free.

Whatever you touch, touches you. So, if you do not want to be touched, do not yourself touch.

A coin always has two sides to it, but it is the same coin.

Take another case.

Cost and value are also two sides of the same coin: There is no value without cost, and every cost has a value.

Yes, every cost has a value. Think about some bad experience you have had. Now rethink what value you gained from it? Here are some possible examples: A woman is fired from her job. In retrospect, it turns out to be the best thing that happened to her. It has led her to start a business of her own and build an empire which she would not have done had that “unfortunate experience“ of being fired not occurred.

Or a man goes through the terrible, painful experience of divorce, only to “grow up“. Because of the experience he has become a wiser and more caring person. He is changed for the better in a way that could not have happened without the divorce.

And the reverse is also true: every value has a cost. Think for a moment. You are enormously successful, the beneficiary of an incredible career.

Now, analyze what it has cost you. What sacrifices you have had to make.

Life is like that: There is always duality. White is lack of color. It is not a color by itself. Hate is lack of love. Again, two sides of the same coin. It is not two different things. It the same thing, with one being the lack of the other.

The only thing which itself is one, and not a duality, is God.

Is that true?

Just thinking aloud…



Dr. Ichak Kalderon Adizes