Little Dogs and a House Full of Mirrors

This blog is the beginning of what I call “Some Tools For Life”. Like any good tool chest there will be many and varied things to choose from depending on what the circumstance requires.

Abraham Maslow said, “If you only have a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.”

Now, that said, you can’t go through life whacking every issue with a roofing hammer, can you? Okay, some will, but I believe most will look for the right tool for the right job.

So, without further ado, here’s a very nice tool I think you’ll like. It’s an old Japanese Folk tale about the House of a Thousand Mirrors.

Long ago in a small, far away village, there was a place known as the House of a Thousand Mirrors. A small, happy little dog learned of this place and decided to visit. When he arrived, he bounced cheerfully up the stairs to the doorway of the house. He looked inside with his ears lifted high and his tail wagging as fast as it could. To his great surprise, he found himself staring at a thousand other happy little dogs with their tails wagging just as fast as his. He smiled a great smile, and was answered with a thousand great smiles just as warm and friendly. As he left the house, he thought to himself, “This is a wonderful place. I will come back and visit it often.”

In this same village, another little dog, who was not quite as happy as the first one, decided to visit the house as well. Upon arrival he slowly climbed the stairs and hung his head low as he peered through the door. When he saw the thousand unfriendly looking dogs staring back at him, he growled at them and was horrified to see a thousand little dogs growling back at him. As he left, he thought to himself, “That is a horrible place, and I will never go back there again.”

The universe is filled with mirrors of all types. There are situational mirrors, emotional mirrors, physical mirrors and, oddly enough, all the people in the world are mirrors. What do you see reflected in the faces and mannerisms of the people you meet? Are they happy? Miserable? Cruel? Generous? Playful? Fearful?

What you see and feel depends on you. Your spirit, aura, feelings, or whatever you choose to call it, create a reaction from everything and everyone you encounter. Make a decision of how you want to be. It really is as simple as that. Take a look at the mirror in your bathroom in the morning, or now, if you want, and see what sort of face is looking back at you. If it’s grumpy, smile and tell it, “Hey, knock it off! You have more important things to do than be miserable today! Besides, I love you anyway!” If it’s already smiling, you’re on your way!

But don’t forget to brush your teeth!

“What sort of tool is this?” It’s a tool of choice. Pack it in a readily available place as you are going to be using it quite a lot.

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6 Responses to “Little Dogs and a House Full of Mirrors”


  1. 1 Dominique November 15, 2009 at 7:57 pm

    Oh! This is marvelous! Thank you for telling this old story and for sharing your wisdom with us. We so often forget that in interaction with others, for instance, we receive what we give. Other people are showing us the mirror. An angry face seldom receives smiles, not for long at least. Our mood, our behavior, but also our own attitude to ourselves, create an energy field around us that would mostly attract one form of response over a period of time and while it does, it only perpetuates our misery if we are miserable, or our happiness if we are happy. A thousand times! We tend to forget that we always have a choice. And while we may not always be in a full control over the circumstances we find ourselves in, we are always in control how we respond to them. We are the master mirror makers.
    It is a dark, foggy November day here, but I chose to let the Sun shine from inside out.
    Greetings!
    Dominique

  2. 2 Katherine November 16, 2009 at 12:15 am

    ok ok i get it…brush my teeth! just teasing very good message for all of us who forget to start out positive and others will continue the positive. we are what others see!

  3. 3 Adele November 16, 2009 at 6:44 am

    Attitude medicine that is useful no matter what the situation. Emotions are over rated, but we have them anyway. What I love most reading was the “I love you anyway”. We see what we expect and exactly what give out – with life’s experiences as the ultimate reflection. Thank you for sharing your wisdom Jim.

  4. 4 Jim November 16, 2009 at 2:13 pm

    Very good. We all know attitude is everything.

  5. 5 Steve Hunter November 17, 2009 at 5:23 am

    I like your story and very well told. Parables are great ways to teach truths. For the Christian, the joy and peace you feel inside should never be overshaddowed by any external situation. I this world there will be tough times. We draw our joy from Him and give thanks for trials which build faith and character. We should be thankful for it is through them that we were first drawn to him and have grown our faith in him as we give up OUR control and say not my will but thine be done. We feel love for others as Christ loves us…should we not when filled with the Holy Spirit? So express the love and joy that fills you heart. Selah (be still and listen). Be watchful, available and wait upon the Lord. Fill your heart to overflowing with His word and express the joy inside. Others will see the light of God and will come to it not yet knowing to what attracts them. Be a lighthouse of joy, peace, love and contentment in every phase of life as God guides you thru to attain His purpose for His glory. Let your light shine forth!

  6. 6 Dominique January 17, 2010 at 10:15 pm

    I came back to read this story once more. I think you should publish it on the other pages as well. people will love to read it. I am sure of it!
    Greetings! Dominique


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