I recently read the book “The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse”. I saw a blurb about it in the Tim Ferriss 5-Bullet Friday newsletter. It is a book about friendship. I was interested enough to put a request into my local library for the book. I waited a few days and then got a phone call from Julie at the library letting me know the book was in.
When I brought the book home and thumbed through it I was surprised. It looked like a kid’s book with drawings on most pages and some pages having only a line or two. The introduction said the book was written for people from eight to eighty, it reminded me of the board game covers declaring that they are made for kids from 9-99 years old.
I opened the book on a Saturday morning and finished it in one and a half cups of coffee. It was a quick read and stirred my emotions more than once. The illustrations in the book reminded me of the books that I read to my kids before bed. The drawings made the horse look powerful and gentle from page to page. Most of the images were a single color and every few pages they were watercolor. The watercolors made me think of walking through the woods on a late autumn afternoon.
Some of my favorite lines from the book made me think about how I am moving through life. Am I doing things the way that I know is right? How am I showing up every day? What is my mindset when I approach someone new?
“What do you want to be when you grow up?”
“Kind” Said the boy.
Sometimes I think that the simplest way for me to approach the day is to keep kindness in mind each time I connect with another.
“What do you think is the biggest waste of time?”
“Comparing yourself to others” Said the mole.
I’ve heard it said that comparison is the thief of joy. I work hard to keep in mind that the person I am comparing myself to sometimes struggles-just like me. They have good days and bad days-just like me. They sometimes compare themselves to others-just like me.
“What is the bravest thing you’ve ever said?”
“Help” Said the horse.
I often struggle to ask for help. I see it as a weakness. I should be able to do this without help. The horse reminds me to set my ego aside and ask for help.
“Is your glass half empty or half full?”
“I think I’m grateful to have a glass” Said the boy.
I think this is the most humble statement in the book. I wonder sometimes- who am I to say whether my glass is empty or full?
“What’s your best discovery?”
“That I’m enough as I am” Said the boy.
We are often reminded we are not enough. We need a better car. We need a better job. We need a better partner. All of these external pressures do a good job of distracting us from what we know is true-we are enough.
After I finished the book on Saturday morning I put it away. I picked it up again Sunday evening and read it one more time. It was a good way to end a good weekend. I decided to keep it for a few more days before returning it to the library.