How ‘Jack The Giant Slayer’ Fell Not

In this retelling of ‘Jack And The Beanstalk’, while climbing it to rescue a princess, Jack grabs a small twig, that snaps. As he slipped down a little, before getting a grip on the stalk and himself, Elmont the leading knight asks, ‘Fear of heights?’ Jack shakes his head vigorously and replies, ‘Fear of falling!’ Elmont retorts, ‘Well then, don’t fall!’ Jack sarcastically ‘agrees’, ‘Oh, that’s great advice! Yeah.’ Elmont ends the dialogue impatiently with, ‘Alright, let’s get going, chaps!’

Jack did not really get the advice, though Elmont sounded serious. Truth is, there is nothing to fear about heights, other than falling from them. But why fear what is not happening, and need not happen? If Jack was fully mindful of his every step in the present, he will never fall in the present or future. His fear of falling was needless distraction from a safe ascent. Elmont’s advice could have been more complete, by explaining how not to fall, as above, than simply asking him not to fall!

Jack later heeded Crawe the second knight’s advice to ‘picture something just ahead of you within arm’s reach… that makes you happy.’ This seems in essence similar to the above, but it misses the immediacy of the moment, of making peace with now, instead of projecting happiness ahead. Of course, we journey on in life because of a (literally) higher goal, which promises happiness. Yet, thinking too far might distract one from here too. Why not learn to be happier with each step too?

Please Be Mindful Of Your Speech, Namo Amituofo!

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