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Sharing stories with others helps us gain insight into our difficulties. Looking at someone else’s difficulty can help us find the answer to our problems. Sometimes stories give us hope, they help us remember we are not alone, and someone else has been in our situation before and knows the way through. If we are open to learning from someone else’s struggle, we increase our likelihood of finding inspiration, hope, and direction.

Here at Grounding Innovations, we love to share stories from Veterans in our communities.

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I heard a story about a traveler who fell into a hole and could not get out on his own. It took a stranger to help him get out.

Once upon a time, there was a man who traveled the countryside. One morning, the traveler was so distracted that he didn’t see the hole in front of him and fell into it. The hole was deep and very dark. Try as he may, the traveler could not climb out of the hole.

He shouted to a wealthy businessman walking by, “Can you help me? I’ve fallen into this hole and I can’t get out. Do you have a rope?”

The man looked down into the hole and pitied the traveler. “I can’t help you, but I can give you money. Perhaps you can pay someone to help you out.” He threw the traveler a coin and walked on.

The traveler shouted to a religious man, “Can you help me? I’ve fallen into this deep dark hold and I can’t get out.”

The religious man shouted back, “I’m sorry, I can’t help you. I don’t have the time. I am officiating a wedding today. I will pray that God sends you some help.” He said a quick prayer and kept on walking.

The man shouted to a family walking by, “Please, can you help me? I am stuck in this dark hole and I can’t get out. Do you have a rope or something I can use to climb out?”

The family looked down and said, “The poor soul. I am sorry, but we don’t have a rope. However, when we get to town, we will find you some help.” The family left and never returned.

The man was desperate and cried aloud. Please, God, send someone to help me! The hours passed and no one came. “Perhaps,” he thought, “the hole is too deep and too dark that even God cannot hear me or see me.” The man felt a wave of despair fall over him and he wept alone in the darkness.

With what little hope he had left, he cried out one last time to a beggar passing by, “Please, can you help me? I fell into this deep dark hole and I can’t get out.”

The beggar shouted back, “Of course! Hold on a minute and I will be right there.” The servant jumped into the hole with the man.

The man looked confused. “What are you doing? Are you an idiot? Are you so stupid that you would jump into the hole with me? Now there are two people stuck in this hole!”

The beggar smiled. “Do not fret. I fell into this hole too. I know how to get out and will show you the way.”

~ Author Unknown.