One day King Solomon ordered his most trusted minister to find a magic ring that transformed happiness into sadness and sadness into happiness. The king knew that no such ring existed, but he wished to humble his minister. The minister promised that he would find the ring and bring it to the king.
Many months passed and the minister could not find the ring. One day as he walked through the poorest quarters of Jerusalem, he saw a merchant setting out his goods on a shabby carpet. He asked the merchant if he had ever heard of this special ring. The elderly man took a plain gold ring from his carpet and engraved something on it. When the minister read the words on the ring, his face broke out in a wide smile.
He quickly returned to the palace and gave the ring to King Solomon. As the delighted king examined the ring, and found it bore the inscription This too shall pass. At that moment the smile vanished from his face, for he realized that everything was temporary, including his wealth, power, and life.1
This too shall pass points to the fact that change is constant. These four words teach us not to take the good times for granted, but to be grateful for the happy moments in our lives. They also remind us that even our darkest moments do not last. No matter what we are experiencing, our experience will inevitably transform into something different.
This too shall pass is the light in darkness, and the darkness in light. There is considerable power in these simple words that reveals itself when you take a moment to ponder this phrase.
Take a moment to write down this phrase somewhere meaningful to you, perhaps in a journal or maybe just a post-it note somewhere on your desk, but choose a place that you will stumble upon quite often so that it becomes easy for you to remember this saying. The next time you encounter a difficult moment in life or a bad day, repeat the words and allow their meaning to sink in. Notice the shift that happens.
1. Jewish folktale adapted from the version told by David Franko
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