There is not one of us who has not thought very carefully about what brings satisfaction in life. If life really is really like a box of chocolates, as some say, how come we keep picking the hard centres that break our teeth and leave our jaws aching? Where can we find the strength to triumph over the worst life throws at us? We've heard the rhyme as we've played with our toes, but we sent our own little piggies out on a fact finding mission.
This little piggy went to market
This little piggy discovered there is a market of stalls all brightly decked out and overflowing with "solutions" out there in the world. In the space of one afternoon, this he was offered orange robes and an invitation to shave his head. They taught him mantras to repeat, and showed him how to step carefully through the grass giving ample time for ants to move out of his way. With practice our piggy would take control of his thoughts and find that tranquil place. Another stall owner offered him crystals in a rainbow of shades, and commented on his purple aura as the fragrance of a dozen incense sticks stung his eyes. The secret of strength is harnessed in a crystal. Oh yes! If one thing doesn't suit you, just find another stall.
Let's move on to our second piggy.
This little piggy stayed at home
This little piggy never left the pigsty. The secret of strength according to our pink pug nosed friend lies in staying where God put you. There is a piggy heaven where all injustices will be sorted out. It is not right to question the hard centres in the chocolate box. It is just our lot in life if we pick them. As we knuckle down and endure what life throws at us, we will find all the strength that we need. One day in piggy heaven, those that got away with every evil under the sun will be brought to account.
Our third piggy has another perspective.
This little piggy had roast beef
He also had roast potatoes, Yorkshire pudding and lashings of gravy to go with his roast beef. He doesn't really like vegetables much, even though deep down he knows they are good for him. This little piggy lives the high life. Obscene luxury is his solution to the questions of life. This little piggy pursues pleasure like a dog pursues a cat, or cat pursues a mouse, or a mouse pursues the cheese. The pursuit of happiness is the secret of strength. When you have everything your heart can imagine - then and only then will you be truly content. Strength of heart can be bought for a price.
Our fourth piggy holds an entirely different view.
This little piggy had none.
This is another piggy that has moved out of the pigsty and now lives in a small cave on the hillside. He has turned his back on worldly goods and lives a Spartan, frugal life. He spurns all the luxuries our third piggy held to be so dear. Not for him a warm pigsty, but cold hard rock. Not for him scrumptious pig swill, but all the berries he can pick. Strength comes through self denial. It is apparently obvious that the things that cause you pain must, by their very nature, be good for you.
Out last piggy has the final word.
This little piggy went wee wee wee all the way home
This little piggy told us earlier that he had tried all the other ways to find the secret of strength. Some of them actually work for a while. The secret of strength is not really about what you do, or what you don't do. It is about finding your way home. Home isn't just the nearest pigsty - or the nearest cave. Home is living in the presence of the person who loves you the most. The only source of true inner strength lies in one person alone - the Maker and Creator of all things.
Author's note - I have presumed that you are familiar with the children's rhyme - "This little piggy…" It's a toe thing that ends up in a tickle thing.
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