“A pedestal is as much a prison as any small, confined space.”

~ Gloria Steinem

The Turtle


 The Emperor of China sent ambassadors to a hermit living in the northern mountains. They were to invite him to become prime minister of the kingdom.

After many days of travel the ambassadors arrived. The hermitage was empty! But nearby in the middle of a river was a half-naked man, seated on a rock, fishing with a line. Could this be the man the emperor thought so highly of? Inquiries at the village proved it was.

So they returned to the riverbank and, as respectfully as they could, attempted to attract the fisherman's attention.

The hermit waded through the river and stood before the messengers, barefoot, arms akimbo.
"What is it you want?"
"Honored sir. His Majesty the Emperor of China, having heard of your wisdom and your holiness, has sent us with these gifts. He invites you to accept the post of prime minister of the realm.
"Prime minister of the realm?"
"Yes, respected sir."
"Yes, respected sir."
"Is His Majesty out of his mind?" said the hermit as he roared with uncontrollable laughter, to the discomfiture of the ambassadors.

When he was able to control himself, the hermit said, "Tell me-- is it true that mounted over the main altar of the emperor's chapel is a stuffed turtle whose shell is encrusted with sparkling diamonds?"
"It is, venerable sir."
"And is it true that once a day the emperor and his household gather to do homage to his diamond-decorated turtle?"
"It is, sir."

"Now take this turtle here, wagging his tail in the mud. Do you think this little fellow would change places with the turtle in the palace?"
"No, he would not."

"Then go tell the emperor that neither would I. For no one can be alive on a pedestal."

~Anthony de Mello


“History fades into fable; fact becomes clouded with doubt and controversy; the inscription moulders from the tablet; the statue falls from the pedestal”

“The true artist has the planet for his pedestal; the adventurer, after years of strife, has nothing broader than his shoes”~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Don’t put me on a pedestal, for I am sure to fall. Just love me as I am, flaws and all.”~Author Unknown


P.S: Statues on pedestals tend to gather dust…..and a lot of other stuff…..

The best place for people is in one’s heart.