This is one of my favorite stories of how we are always our own worst enemy. Then we complain and complain instead of taking action. This story is one of my favorites about inaction and complaining.
Tim just moved to a new neighborhood recently. He likes his house and the environment, but there is one thing he doesn’t get.
His neighbor has a dog that keeps howling non-stop. Day in, day out.
Initially Tim thinks that the dog is just going through a phase, so he ignores the howls, thinking it will eventually stop howling.
But the dog continues to howl.
One day passes. Nothing changes. Two days pass. Still howling. Three days. Five days. A week. A month. Still howling, with no signs of stopping.
Finally, Tim can’t stand it anymore. One fine day, he walks over to his neighbor’s house to see what is going on.
Sure enough, there is the dog, sitting on the front porch, howling pitifully to whoever is walking by.
On the other hand, his neighbor is sitting on his bench in the front yard, leisurely reading his newspapers and sipping a cup of coffee.
So Tim walks up to his neighbor.
Tim: “Hi, I’m Tim. I live next door.” Neighbor: “Hi! I’m John.” Tim: “Is this your dog by any chance? It’s been howling non-stop.” John: “Oh yes he is. Sorry about the howls, I hope they are not bothering you.” Tim: “Why does he keep howling?” John: “Well… that’s cause he’s sitting on a nail.” Tim: “Sitting on a nail??”
Tim looks at the dog, bewildered.
“Alright… why doesn’t he just get away from the nail?”
“Well, Tim……,” John takes a slow sip of his coffee before replying. “…… That’s because he doesn’t find it painful enough yet.”