The Sage Old Man…

A sage old man searched the world over for a book that said all of the things he’d always wanted to hear, but he came up short. That book did not exist.

Unwilling to give up, the old man decided to write the book himself, and that he did. He spent years writing down all the things he’d always wanted to hear, and finally, with a sigh of relief, he proudly held the manuscript in his hands.

The old man searched far and wide for a publisher who was willing to publish his manuscript, but none seemed interested. He visited hundreds, if not thousands of publishing houses with not one single taker. And yet they all had different opinions and critiques.

“It’s too long.”

“It’s too short.”

“It’s too deep.”

“It’s too shallow.”

“It’s too based in fact.”

“It’s too fictional.”

Determined not to give in, the old man built a printing press, and printed thousands of copies of his beloved book. They rhythmically popped out one by one until the final book emerged. With a wide, delighted grin, he stood stared at the mountainous pile of books.

The old man began approaching book shops, trying to get his book on their shelves. Door to door, city to city, he had no luck. None seemed interested, not even in the least.

Committed to his cause, and now slightly obsessed, the old man went to the bank and took out all of his life savings. He built a book store from the ground up, and when the final coat of paint had dried, he filled the shelves with his books. He chuckled with satisfaction as he hung the “OPEN” sign in the door window.

He waited and waited, and no one came into his shop. Hours passed and, ever so slowly but surely, customers began to trickle in, but none went as far as purchasing the old man’s book. Some read, some paged through, others merely looked at the cover and put it back down, but none bought it. Not even one.

Days went by and turned to weeks, weeks into months, months into years, and the old man had failed to sell one single solitary book. With a final wave of resolve, the man walked over to a shelf, picked up his own book, and walked up to the counter. He took his very own money out of his very own pocket and bought his very own copy of his very own book.

That night when he got home, the old man built a toasty fire in the fireplace, poured a glass of his most expensive Scotch, put on his most comfortable pajamas, and sat in his favorite chair. He opened his book and began to read. Hours went by and the old man intently read the book without uttering the slightest peep, or making the smallest movement. Page by page, he plowed through.

When he came to the last page, and read the final line, the sage old man closed the book, sighed and said, “Well, I already knew that!” He laid the book on the coffee table, walked back to his room, climbed into his bed, and had the most peaceful night’s sleep he had ever experienced.

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