All of Earth’s creatures would be contented with what they have, however little, until another comes along to upstage them.
It is in the nature of all creatures to boast and to outshine the other. It is the enigmatic engine of truth and knowledge mired in contention and competition that inevitably robs all living beings of a peaceful heart. So they hurtle at top speed towards that unwarranted need for a profusion of worldly goods. More is preferable, more is better, more is best, or is it?
Once upon a time there was a nice turtle family living happily in a modest pond inside a greenhouse. Their other turtle neighbors and the fish coexisted with them in perfect harmony sharing the bounty of the pond, never lacking for food, always sheltered from the harsh elements and happy to have all the space they needed to swim freely or wander about.
During the summer months the diligent groundskeepers, for variety's sake would transfer some of these inhabitants to the outside pond. On such a happy excursion, the baby turtle found himself in the outside pond. With the eagerness of youth he spent many a good day exploring his new surroundings. He loved every new experience, every new blade of grass, every lotus flower, rocks and so forth. When it rained the droplets and the rushing wind delighted the baby turtle’s senses.
Then there were the other interesting creatures in the air that captivated his imagination; some were small but others were incredibly huge.
With a contented air the baby turtle was sunning on his favorite rock one day, when quite absently he heaved a sigh and exclaimed, “Can things be any better than this? I have everything I need right here. This pond is the biggest and best place ever!”
“It’s adequate, yes, but certainly not the best or the biggest.” The nearby seagull wryly grunted, startling the baby turtle.
“What you mean?” The baby turtle demanded an explanation, quickly overcoming his surprise.
The seagull could not miss this chance to amaze this little thing and boast of the places he’d seen and the existence of a vast lake not too far away. “The lake is so expansive that you cannot fly over it from one end to the next. It’s limitless. It is so deep that no amount of drought affects the levels very much or ever can drain it.”
By the time he was through listing the scope and grandeur of the vast open waters he had invoked in the baby turtle such curiosity and yearning that all joy and contentment had left the poor little thing. No longer was this baby turtle happy, imagining far better places he could never be.
Long after the seagull was gone the baby turtle was still unhappy and for days on end just moped about. His parents were greatly concerned about his well being and eventually, after much prying, learned the source of his troubles. They were wise enough not to scold him for his naivete, ingratitude or greed. Instead, his father had simply shaken his head, and then said, “To be upset over what you don’t have is to waste what you do have.”
The little turtle nodded, and went back to the happy way he was.