Once there was a tiny mouse. He lived in a field that hadn’t been used in several years. The field belonged to a retired farmer, who because of various generous government subsidies, decided that he could make more money by not growing things that he used to grow. So the farmer, instead of getting up before the sun, and doing various farming work, got up at the crack of dawn and did other stuff, like watching his investments, and participating in farming forums on the internet. The farmer realized when you get into the habit of getting up early every morning; it becomes a hard habit to break, especially if one tries to break in the twilight of life. The farmer never married, and didn’t have any children that he knew of, so he was content to relax every day, and use his energy in other areas that farming.
Which naturally led to a large mouse population in the overgrown fields that use to be a source of wheat and barley and other staples of life. One could of course, argue that the mice themselves were a staple of life, but that would require bringing various mice eating snakes into the story, which I’d rather not do at this point.
So the mice had been flourishing in their mice community for many seasons. Growing, increasing in size, developing different community structures that naturally evolve in a growing society. They even had plans to build a community center that would allow all to get together once in a while and share stories of life out in the great unknown.
One day, several young mice were out walking just past the outskirts of town. It was the newest housing development, and beyond was unregulated areas, undeveloped areas. Because they nice didnâ€™t ever encounter mice eating snakes, they were fairly certain that the regions the outskirts were snake free as well. When the nice population would reach a size that warranted further development, they would get several mice together to lead a scouting party up ahead, to choose the most suitable land for building inhabitable structures. After the first couple of forays into the unknown, the mice realized when you go outside of where you are; all you generally find is more of the same stuff. Of course the first time they ventured outside of their comfort zone, they imagined all kinds of snakes and mousetraps and owls swooping down from the heavens above, but none of that materialized. It became more of a mundane search for the best soil, and the flattest plots to create affordable housing.
The mice were discussing this when they saw it. It was a giant object like they’d never seen before. It was solid; it wasn’t rock, or tree or any kind of plant. It was hard like rock, but it wasn’t rock. It was red, but had a rough brownish kind of covering over some of it, that looked like it was growing very slowly. They circled around it a few times until they figured it was safe to go in. They climbed up inside and were amazed at all the gadgets and switches and levers were on the inside. They could think of a million different ways they could use this. They climbed out on top, and realize they could see all the way back to their original housing development, which had recently been turned into a retirement home.
“Wait till they see what we found!” said one mouse excitedly.
“We could use this for a lookout tower!” Said another.
“We could use this for a storm shelter!” Said another.
“We could use this for a movie theater!” Said another.
As they scampered down, they ran into an old mouse, who happened to be out walking around. He had been retired for several years, and had taken to going on long walks to pass the time.
The young mice excitedly told him of their discovery, and their growing ideas of how to use this.
He looked at them and smiled.
You see, this is why it is always important to explore outside of the familiar. Outside of your comfort zone. You see many other people are afraid to do that. They just stay where it’s safe. You kids are smart. Because you are smart, you have discovered an amazing treasure. The secret of life, kids, is that amazing treasures like this are only outside of your comfort zone. And that’s not even the half if. The best part about searching for and finding amazing treasure is that you can use it for whatever you want. No matter what it is, or what some other person thought it was supposed to be, you can find amazing treasure, and when you do, you can use it for whatever you want. Nice work. You found something wonderful here.
The old mouse winked at the kid and shuffled off. They kids just continued grinning, and hurried home to tell everybody what they’d found. They couldn’t wait to share this with everybody.