The Song of the Birds

Value what you have

The owner of a small business,
a friend of the poet Olavo Bilac, met him on the street and asked,

“Mr. Bilac, I need to sell my small farm the one you know so well.
Could you please write an announcement for me for the paper?”

Bilac wrote:
"For sale: a beautiful property, where birds sing at dawn in extensive woodland, 
bi-sected by the brilliant and sparkling waters of a large stream.
The house is bathed by the rising sun.
It offers tranquil shade in the evenings on the veranda."

Some time later, the poet met his friend and asked whether he had sold the property
to which he replied:

“I’ve changed my mind.
When I read what you had written, I realized the treasure that was mine.”


Sometimes we underestimate the good things we have,
chasing after the mirages of false treasures.

Look around and appreciate what you have:
your home, your loved ones, friends on whom you can really count, 
the knowledge you have gained, your good health.
And all the beautiful things of life,
that are truly your most precious treasure.

Ask of God at every moment that our problems and concerns
never degenerate into feelings of sadness and anxiety.

Be in union with God,
who will provide the courage needed 
for victory in the struggle;
because God gives with abundance what we need.

Olavo Bilac

Life Explained

A boat docked in a tiny Mexican village.
An American tourist complimented the Mexican fisherman on the quality of his fish
and asked how long it took him to catch them.

“Not very long,” answered the Mexican.

“But then, why didn’t you stay out longer and catch more?”
asked the American.

The Mexican explained that his small catch was sufficient
to meet his needs and those of his family.

The American asked,
“But what do you do with the rest of your time?”

“I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, and take a siesta with my wife.
In the evenings, I go into the village to see my friends,
have a few drinks, play the guitar, and sing a few songs.
I have a full life.”

The American interrupted, “I have an MBA from Harvard and I can help you!
You should start by fishing longer every day.
You can then sell the extra fish you catch.
With the extra revenue, you can buy a bigger boat.”

“And after that?” asked the Mexican.

“With the extra money the larger boat will bring,
you can buy a second one and a third one and so on
until you have an entire fleet of trawlers.
Instead of selling your fish to a middle man,
you can then negotiate directly with the processing plants
and maybe even open your own plant.
You can then leave this little village and move to Mexico City,
Los Angeles, or even New York City!
From there you can direct your huge new enterprise.”

“How long would that take?” asked the Mexican.

“Twenty, perhaps twenty-five years,” replied the American.

“And after that?”

Well my friend, that’s when it gets really interesting,” answered the American, laughing.
“When your business gets really big,
you can start buying and selling stocks and make millions!”

“Millions? Really? And after that?” asked the Mexican.

“After that you’ll be able to retire, live in a tiny village near the coast,
sleep late, play with your children, catch a few fish, take a siesta with your wife
and spend your evenings drinking and enjoying your friends.”

And the moral of this story is: 
Know where you’re going in life -
you may already be there.

author unknown