Parable of the House

There once was a man who lived in the house his father had built, and because his father had died when he was very young, this house was very dear to him. It was his greatest inheritance, and it seemed most all his good memories were somehow bound up with it, but through the years it began to tax him increasingly. First its roof began to leak so he reshingled it. Then the walls began to crack and peal so he repaired and repainted them. And last the foundation began to give in places and the floor began to sag, and it seemed like there was no end to his work of keeping the house somewhat intact.

Still, life went on, and one day the man was visited by his younger brother who came to the door and said, “Elder brother, it’s time for our long-awaited celebration! You must come with me to the house I’ve been so long in building with my sole inheritance, our Father’s carpentry tools, for today it is complete!” So the two brothers went to this new house, and the elder thought what a beautiful space it was and what memories might be made in such a space. And the two men caroused, and perhaps a bit too loose from all the drinking, the younger brother raised up his glass and said, “Cheers to this day’s consummation, for in building this house I’ve discovered the true meaning of work. And in working to build my home I’ve discovered what it means to be a man.”

At hearing this, the elder looked quietly at the younger in wonder. He sat quietly and he wondered.

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3 comments on “Parable of the House

  1. tony capitan says:

    Enjoyed reading this.

  2. Scott L Robertson says:

    There surely is a lot to be said for preserving a legacy, a memory, even while at times becoming burdensome…building one’s own memories and monuments from the ground up too, have value. These choices and opportunities are not mutually exclusive. Balance in all things as they say…In my own life I’ve done both, and more and less. Perspective and intention, expectation and outcomes – each carry weight. And like in most things, there may not be a right or wrong choice…perhaps it matters more what it is you think and feel about a thing that makes us wonder, hopefully also, to express joy about ourselves and others…and our choices.

    • Anthony says:

      I definitely agree, and no matter how different our legacies end up looking from those of the people who influenced us, there’s always a great deal inherited that’s implicit in everything we do.

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