Friday, April 24, 2009

Having the Courage to Discover What Fits Us

I love this old folktale. It illustrates how we contort ourselves to fit society’s expectations and cripple ourselves in the process.

Zumbach the Tailor.

Nathan had saved for a full year to buy a suit from the world-famous tailor, Zumbach. Finally, the day came for him to pick up it up.

Ah! So beautiful! The silk was exquisite and the craftsmanship superb. But as Nathan tried the suit on, he noticed that one sleeve was longer than the other.

“Zumbach, I was wondering….. It is a lovely, lovely suit but….you see here? You see? I don’t think that--”

“There is nothing wrong with the suit. You just need to stretch your arm out further--like this—see, it’s gorgeous.” Nathan moved his arm but then the upper portion of the jacket became rumpled.

“But sir, if you please the collar……”

Zumbach pulled on Nathan’s head. “Nonsense. Lift here. And tilt. Tilt….. Bend your leg here. See, it fits perfectly."

“But,” Nathan stammered. "Doesn’t my rear stick out from under the jacket? Maybe just a little bit?”

Zumbach's face was turning red. “Don’t you know how to wear an expensive suit? Just bend like this. You look exquisite.”

So Nathan did as he was told--stretching out his arm, tilting his head and hunching over his body.

As he walked down the street he passed two women. The first said, “That poor man is really crippled!” “He sure is,” the other replied. “But that suit looks fabulous on him.”

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