Pete the Duck.

One morning there was a duck named Pete on the side of a path quacking.

A professional singer walked by. Upon hearing him she said, “How nice of you to sing me a morning song, Pete.”

A few minutes later an overweight woman walked by. She said, “You’re always quacking for more food, Pete. It’s time you stuck to your diet.”

Finally, an intellectual architect walked by. When he heard Pete, he said, “Questions, Pete, always questions. How about some answers for a change?”

(Shared by Alan Cohen)

About this story Alan Cohen says:

All these people just projected onto Pete their own issues.  What if that’s the way our world is?  What we believe is the world out there is really a blank slate onto which we project all of our beliefs – our fears, our loves, our concerns and our joys.  And we make up stories about what the world is based on what’s going on inside of us.  That’s why the only place to begin to heal the world is starting with ourselves – our own mind and thoughts.  If we just try to manipulate “chess pieces” out there we’re gonna fail, but if we do our own work within, then we have a chance.”  

Each person saw Pete through their own lens.  They projected their own “stuff” onto Pete and attributed their beliefs about themselves to him.  It was themselves they were talking to, not Pete!  We all project our inner world out there without even realizing it.

Could it be that world we see is a projection of our thoughts?  When we believe the world is kind to us, perhaps it’s because we are being kind to ourselves and when we don’t perceive that kindness “out there,” it’s because we’re not being kind “in there” – to ourselves?  What about love, fear, hate out there?  Is it not also within ourselves?

This story gives more credence to the exhortation to be “Transformed by renewing of your mind.”  (Romans 12:2).


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