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Sag 193

The Vicious Circle

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Three sisters from a poor family petitioned the abbot of the Laughing Monkey Clan for admission to the Temple as developers.

“I cannot hire any of you,” said the abbot after he looked at their résumés and code samples. “You do not have the necessary experience.”

“But it is the same complaint everywhere we go!” protested one of the sisters. “How are we to acquire experience if we are refused entrance to every place that offers experience simply because we lack experience?”

Master Kaimu happened to be passing by and overheard this. He said to the girls: “Desire is the root of all suffering. If you cannot do what you desire, then do what you must, so that in your spare time you may do what you truly love.”

The master then departed, but the girls were not comforted.

- - -

Several months later the master came upon these same three sisters sharing a humble meal in the village. He asked them how they fared.

The first said, “By day I do carpentry to pay the bills, and by night I carve sculptures for my amusement.”

The second said, “By day I sell fish to pay the bills, and by night I practice dance for my amusement.”

The third said, “By day I repair garments to pay the bills, and by night I code little applications for my amusement.”

Kaimu returned to the abbot and, telling him what had transpired, said, “Admit the third sister to your clan, for she has what we seek.”

The abbot asked, “Should we not advise her elder sisters to follow her example, that they might gain experience and also be admitted?”

“Null,” said Kaimu. “How can we advise them on ‘what to truly love’?”

* “Stealthy Wombat” offers this poem:

Enkudu began a journey of a thousand li
With only a walking stick, a meal of fish, a cloak, and a navigation app.
How happy the first two sisters!
Enkudu shall never disdain their love.