Judging from the responses to the story of the Greek philosopher tending his garden it struck a chord with more than a few readers of this blog and our Terrific Tips enewsletter.
Here is a wonderful Japanese folktale along similar lines that community consultant Peter Kenyon shared in his excellent newsletter.
Long ago in a small, far away village, there was a place known as the House of a Thousand Mirrors. A small, happy little dog learned of this place and decided to visit.
When he arrived, he bounced happily up the stairs to the doorway of the house. He looked through the doorway with his ears lifted high and his tail wagging as fast as it could. To his great surprise, he found himself staring at 1,000 other happy little dogs with their tails wagging just as fast as his. He smiled a great smile, and was answered with 1,000 great smiles just as warm and friendly. As he left the House, he thought to himself, "This is a wonderful place. I will come back and visit it often."
In this same village, another little dog, who was not quite as happy as the first one, decided to visit the house. He slowly climbed the stairs and hung his head low as he looked into the door. When he saw the 1,000 unfriendly looking dogs staring back at him, he growled at them and was horrified to see 1,000 little dogs growling back at him. As he left, he thought to himself, "That is a horrible place, and I will never come back here again."