The tale of the farmer and the two travellers – or you get what you expect


A farmer was out working in his field, when a traveller walked by. The traveller, grumpy-looking and obviously in a bad mood, stopped and asked the farmer “What are the people living in the next village like?

How did you find the people in the last village?” asked the farmer. The traveller answered: “They were all rude and ill-tempered, all selfish and no one to be trusted.

Is that so?” said the farmer. “Unfortunately, you will find the people in the next village just the same.”

A while later another traveller, cheerful and whistling, passed by from the same direction. He as well stopped the farmer and asked the same question as the previous traveller.

Well” said the farmer. “How did you find the people in the last village?”. “They were all kind and generous, with good hearts and open minds”, said the traveller.

Is that so?”, said the farmer. “Luckily, you will find the people in the next village just the same.”

This fable, credited to Aesop, illustrates how much our experiences are coloured by the tinted spectacles we are all and always looking through, and that life is a constant interplay between people.

We affect the world, and we draw specific people and circumstance to us. If we have an open heart and mind, treating people kindly and with respect, and are constantly looking for the good sides of the any one we encounter, we will both habitually experience the world as a mainly positive one, and with our own behaviour affect people around us in a positive way. In return, we will then ourselves be treated in a better way, and in the end, we will contribute both to our own and other’s happiness.

If we, on the other hand, are suspiciously focussing on the less positive aspects of the persons around us, that will affect our mood in a negative way and lead to self-fulfilling negative experiences on both sides.

That it’s really so, is an old and well-known wisdom. In Buddhism, the karma law states that all our actions have consequences, and within Christianity, Jesus in the Bible says that whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.

Illustration: – JW Balen

svensk_flagga   Detta blogginlägg på svenska

Author: Karl Ekdahl

International public health leader and creativity blogger.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: