I came across this a few days ago and loved it so much that I wanted to share it here. The words are mine, but the story is an ancient one from China:
One morning he passed by a wealthy merchant’s house. The gates of the courtyard were open, and through it the stonecutter could see the merchant’s fine possessions and important guests. “I wish I could be that wealthy merchant,” he said to himself. Then he would no longer have to suffer through life with a tiny job and shack and life.
Then, a miracle happened.
Then he became the sun, shining his power down upon the earth, giving life and taking it at his own whim. But as he was shining, he noticed a dark cloud pass between him and the land. No matter how hard he shone, the cloud prevented his light from reaching the ground. “I wish I were that cloud,” he said. “Then even the sun would have to obey me.”
And he became the cloud, rolling over the land to bring comfort from the heat and terror with his storms. He was both feared and revered, and no one stood against him. But then he discovered that the wind would blow him here and there without his consent. “No one tells me what to do,” he said. “I want to be the wind!”
So be became the wind, uprooting trees and spreading fires and damaging homes. Nothing, he thought, could stand against him. But then one day he blew against a mountain. A no matter how hard he worked, the mountain would not budge. “I want to be that mountain,” he said.
And he became the mountain. More stable than the merchant, more powerful than the official. Unfazed by the sun and the clouds and the wind. But as he rested there, content and finally at peace, he found that a small part of himself was slowly being chipped away. “What is causing this?” he asked. “I am a giant mountain. What could be more powerful than I?”
He looked down and saw far below a tiny speck hard at work. And with that sight he began to cry, for he knew then all his work and all his dreaming had been for naught.
For below him was the one thing in the world even more powerful than he: