I just finished reading The Know-It-All by A.J. Jacobs. It’s a bit strange to read a book about a man reading a book (in the author’s case the entire Encylopaedia Brittanica, A-Z). In any case, one passage caught my eye in which Jacobs recounted a fable in which a Middle Eastern potentate called a meeting of the wise men in his kingdom and he said, ‘I want you to gather all the world’s knowledge together in one place so that my sons can read it and learn.’ The wise men went off, and after a year, they came back with twenty-five volumes of knowledge. The potentate looked at it and he said, ‘No. It’s too long. Make it shorter.’ So the wise men went off for another year and they came back with one single volume. The potentate looked at it and said, ‘No. Still too long.’ So the wise men went off for another year. When they came back, they gave the potentate a piece of paper with one sentence on it. A single, wisdom filled sentence: ‘This too shall pass.’
We are quick to judge and judge harshly. We imagine that our present circumstances will have long-ranging effects that will be catastrophic and impossible to overcome. Life typically proves otherwise and the brilliance of human resilience eventually shines through. I understand that many of my clients have this resilience and will eventually overcome their obstacles even without counseling. I also know that counseling can help many people to recover more rapidly from life’s setbacks by utilizing their strengths and building upon their successes. Let’s see what we can do together to help you pass through this stage onto the next.