Short Story – Foolish Dreams

As I was writing this story, I was listening to this inspiring mantra. If you enjoy spiritual songs, I recommend that you check this song out as you read this short story. Enjoy!

“Stop dreaming, you’re just fooling yourself” – says a boy’s father. This kid, he keeps dreaming so high, I’m worried that the world will bring him down and disappoint him. I need to wake him up to the real world so he doesn’t suffer as much as I did.

Outside, the rain stops. Confused and sad, the boy goes for a little walk. He has big dreams. He dreams of a world in which animals, all types of it, insects, pigs, chicken, all live in harmony with humans. For him, humans need to stop factory farming animals and devouring them. He hopes for a world with no wars, no poverty and no pollution.

Walking along the road, he wonders. Am I dreaming too much? If everybody starts to believe in a better world, the world would soon become a better place. I don’t know. Maybe my father is right. The world cannot be changed. It is too hard for a kid like me to try to change the world.

On the semi-wet road, the boy sees little moving black dots on the pavement. He looks closer and realizes that these black dots are actually flying ants lying on their backs. Their wings are stuck on the wet pavement and they frenetically kick their tiny legs in an attempt to flip themselves around. And for the ants that are not stuck, as they try to flip their wings and fly away, they become stuck to the wet pavement just like the other ants.

This view of life astonishes and saddens the boy. Compassionately and without thinking, he puts his finger out so the insects can climb to it and fly away. Some insects climb right up and fly away. Some ants climb into his hand and stay there, not wanting to leave. And some ants are already dead when the little boy tries to help them. The boy spends a long time doing this over and over again without getting tired.

While the boy works hard, the sun starts to shine and teaches the boy that eventually the sun would dry up the pavement and free these ants. All this suffering is impermanent as the infinite love from the sun will eventually set these ants free. He thought, my job is to speed up this process of love from the sun.

As he is about to liberate the last flying ant, his father appears from the back and uses his hand to help out this ant. The boy looks up in surprise and sees his father in tears. The father tells the boy, “I’m sorry for all the tough words I said to you before. Never stop dreaming. I am the only fool here because I have given up on my dreams. As you liberated these flying ants, you also liberated me. From now on, I will always be there for you and I will help you accomplish whatever dreams you have. I love you son.”

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