There once was a man and that man lost fifty coins in a business deal and was understandably disappointed. In a few days, he forgave himself, both the loss of coin and of his mind, and got back to the business of life, earning his keep. A few weeks later, he lost two hundred coins, and was understandably disappointed. As before, he forgave himself and got back to business and life. He knew it was not good to dwell on past losses. Again, a few weeks later, he had a loss, this time ten coins. He was understandably disappointed.

The man called on the wise sage, posing the question of why his feelings seemed the same with regard to all three losses, fifty, two hundred, and ten coins. The old sage said, “Lack is lack and loss is loss and the feelings do not measure but only feel. The feelings do not measure for they cannot. Feelings are not rational.”

Slowly, the man learned to better deal with his feelings of disappointment, to handle them like the irrational children they were, not needing explanation nor reason, but safety and comfort. Slowly, the effects of the losses lessened, regardless the magnitude of each loss. Slowly, the man became less susceptible to the vicissitudes of life, and grew more happy, knowing that most things in life brought contentment, and that the lifespan of a disappointment was proportional to the level of happy acceptance of pain.