The famous Sage of Chelm came home one night to find his family shivering from the cold.
“Oh Great Sage”, they cried, “We’re freezing here, help us warm up”! So the Sage scratched his head and put his not inconsiderable intellect to the task at hand.
“First” he said, “We need to understand why we’re cold”. He then launched into a detailed explanation of the properties of cold and heat and their effect on the human body. His family listened intently while hugging themselves in the vain attempt to keep warm.
A visiting stranger attempted to interrupt. “Ahem, Great Sage, would you consider perhaps closing the windows and turning on the fireplace? That would warm things up quite a bit”.
The sage turned to him with a wise smile. “Those solutions may work for you where you come from and they may have worked in years past, but today things are different. We need to UNDERSTAND what cold is before we try to deal with it”.
“Do you think it’s that simple”? The Sage continued, marveling at the naivete of his guest. “How many people close their windows and light fires and are still cold? How many times has your approach just dealt with the SYMPTOMS of cold without addressing the deeply-rooted issues underneath? Why, if we were truly a happy family, that would be enough to keep us eternally warm, without any external window-closing and fire-burning”.
Turning back to the matter at hand, the sage continued. “Dear family, you need to realize that cold can be used to do MUCH good. On a hot summer day, wouldn’t you just die for a place to cool off in? How would we keep our food fresh without the cold? And what type of boring world would we live in if the weather was always balmy, without the brisk, refreshing chill of a winter day”?
“Uh, Dear Sage”, said the stranger, “May I interrupt”? “Sure my son”, the Sage replied, “But please, no more of your outdated and disproven ideas. We’re looking for deep and meaningful solutions, solutions that will elevate us to a higher dimension, not some practical, Band-aid fix”.
“Okay” said the stranger.” I just thought to point out that the benefits of cold can be realized without us freezing to death. So how about we first make sure the windows are closed and the fires are lit and THEN we get to the really important stuff”?
The Sage shook his head with a sad smile. “You’re stuck in the past, my friend”, he said. “Sure, you could close the window and start a fire and everyone will warm up but that’s not the issue here. The issue at hand is the deep dissatisfaction that’s at play. But I don’t expect you to understand”.
And so it is today in Chelm, when your window breaks you don’t call a glazier, you call a psychiatrist.