December 17, 2006

Three Important Questions

An simple man had three questions but no advisor, priest, professor, wise man or philosopher could answer them clearly. Then he heard of a wise hermit and summoned him to the court to ask him the answer to these three questions:

  1. When is the most important time?
  2. Who is the most important person?
  3. What is the most important thing to do?

Now the advisors had all failed because they feared that the man already had his answers and was merely testing them. The best time, they reasoned, was the moment of battle against your enemies, but when was that opportune moment? Or, surely the most important man in the kingdom was the shrewdest general or the most flattering minister but who dared to name him? Unless the man himself would be angered and declare that, after all, he was the most important person! And the most important thing to do was clearly to conquer all foes and to enrich your coffers.

The hermit answered the questions with only a few words.

"The most important time is now." All depends on the present moment, on what dominates the mind and heart here and now. All else, past and future, is meaningless.

"The most important person is the one you are with." If you are with a child, a friend, a beloved, a colleague, that person is the most important. If you are with an enemy, a fool, a thief, that person is the most important person right now. And if you are alone, you are the most important person.

"The most important thing to do is to care." To care about this moment, to care about this person in your midst, to care about everything around you. And in so doing, you will have no questions, no preferences of time or persons, and no thing more important than anything else.

- Adapted from Hermit's Thatch.


angry ballerina said...


niCk (Mem Beth) said...


And freaky, too. Don't forget the freaky part of me is bigger than then "werd" side. LOL

Anonymous said...


I must agree the present moment is the most important but the past does affect us in some ways. Even if we'd like to ignore it, our past is part of who we are and have become.

Again, I agree that if we are alone the most important person should be indeed the one to care about. Although, some will say that is a very selfish way of seeing it!

Caring is very important. I have come to realize that the ones who care the most are the ones who get hurt the most too. One doesn't go without the other... ;-)

People who do care can't help it.. it's not something that they conscious choose to do.. it's there or it's not... Those who don't have it in them are missing out on a whole lot!!!!!

angry ballerina said...

no, werd....not wierd........werd is young person term i think.....

niCk (Mem Beth) said...

damn, illiterate and old.

That hurts more than freaky and weird.

I looked it up on the "Urban Dictionary". I think I'm going to have to take some classes.

Pam said...

I don't see anything weird, werd, or freaky about this post. I think it is deep and introspective (and damn good advice!).

But then again, I'm a freaky academic. I love this werd sh!t!

(I don't know what "werd" means either. So I hope I'm not using it incorrectly. Maybe I should look it up too....;-))

niCk (Mem Beth) said...

werd - is a positive acknowledgement, like "I hear you", or just a way to acknowledge that you understand.

Actually I had heard it before, but I thought they were saying "word", as in "word up"

As always, I could be wrong.

BBC said...

A simple man had a court to summon a wise hermit to? Interesting, it seems like if a simple man wanted to talk to a wise hermit, he would go to him.

Wise hermits do not take kindly to being summoned to courts of any kind, you have to go to them.

Today is important, but tomorrow is much more important. What you do today determines what tomorrow might be like. Hugs.

angry ballerina said...

Werd up, is more like it Nick and Pam. As in "I agree".

Pam said...

I always thought is was "word up" too. I guess I should be embarassed ;-)!

angry ballerina said...

word, werd whatever

Anonymous said...

I'm just confused. But it is a good post.