“I come to you, Teacher, because I feel so small, like I don’t have the strength to do anything. People tell me that I am useless, that I am doing no good, that I am clumsy and totally stupid. How can i be better What can I do to make them appreciate me more? “
The teacher said without looking at him, “I’m sorry boy, I can’t help you. I have to solve my own problems first. Maybe later.” And after a long pause, he added, “If you want to give me a hand, I could solve this problem faster and then maybe I can help you.”
“I … I would be very happy, Mr. Teacher,” said the boy timidly, but he was afraid that he would be devalued again and that his needs would not be taken into account.
“Good,” agreed the teacher.
He pulled a ring from the little finger of his left hand, gave it to the boy and said, “Take the horse that is outside and ride to the market. I have to sell this ring because I have to pay debts. You have to get the highest possible price for it, but don’t accept anything that is under a gold coin. Go now and get the money back as soon as possible. “
The boy took the ring and left. When he got to the market, he started selling the ring to dealers. They looked at the ring with interest until the boy told them the price he was asking. When the boy said the price wanted a gold coin some started laughing, others turned away and only one old man was kind enough to take the time to explain to the boy that a gold coin is too much money for you Ring was.
Trying to help, someone offered him a silver coin and a copper pan, but the boy had been instructed not to accept less than a gold coin, so he turned down the offer. After offering the ring to everyone who entered the market – more than a hundred people – and being crushed by its failure, he got back on his horse and walked back.
How much the boy wished he had owned this gold coin himself! Then he could have given it to the teacher to relieve him of his worries. And then he would have got his advice and help.
He entered the room.
“Teacher,” he said. “I am sorry, but it is not possible to get what you have asked me to do. Maybe you could get two or three silver coins, but I don’t think I can fool anyone about the real value of the ring. “
“What you said is so important, young friend,” the teacher replied with a smile. “We should first know the real value of the ring. Take the horse and ride to the jeweler. Who better to know what the ring is worth? Tell him you want to sell the ring and ask how much he would give you for it. But no matter what he offers you, don’t sell it to him. Come back here with my ring. ” The boy got back on his horse.
The jeweler examined the ring in the candlelight, looked at it through his magnifying glass, weighed it, then said, “Tell the teacher, boy, I can’t give him more than 58 gold coins for his ring if he wants to sell it now.”
“58 coins?” The boy called.
“Yes,” replied the jeweler. “I know that in time we might be down to 70 coins, but I don’t know … If the sale is urgent …”
Excited, the boy ran into the teacher’s house and told him what had happened.
“Sit down,” said the teacher after listening to him. “You are like this ring: a jewel, precious and unique. And that’s why only an expert can really judge you. Why do you go through life pretending that everyone can see your true worth? “
And after saying that, he put the ring back on the little finger of his left hand.
Today I brought this story so that you wouldn’t dare judge me. You don’t know my name, nor do you know my story. I know that no matter what I tell you, you will judge me anyway, even though I didn’t ask your opinion. But you don’t know who my angels or my demons are.
Don’t you dare judge me unless you have put yourself in my shoes. The only thing you know about me is what I told you. You didn’t even stop to look around. I try to live the way I want and I refuse to wear any masks. I am the only person who can walk this path and therefore it is my responsibility to judge myself.
I judged myself years ago when I was convinced that what you thought of me was my real worth. But now I’ve learned my lesson and won’t make the same mistake again. I am immune from your judgments. I have learned that my price is what I am willing to pay and I have chosen to judge myself for the rest of my life.
The only way to break free was to stop comparing myself because there isn’t enough gold to pay me. Now I know that my image is the reflection of my security and self-confidence that can only be found inside me. You can’t imagine how great it feels to stop looking on my outside for what I hide inside.
Don’t expect others to understand your journey, especially if they never walked your path.