Starting off in good earnest

A lazy tramp sauntering along the road saw an old man sitting at the door of his house and stopped to inquire of him the whereabouts of a certain place. “How far is such and such a village?” he asked.

The old man remained silent.

The man repeated his query several times. Still, there was no answer. Disgusted at this, the traveller turned to go away. The old man then stood up and said, “The village of __ is only a mile from here.

What!” said the tramp, “Why did you not speak when I asked you before?”

Because then“, said the old man. “you seemed so halting and careless about proceeding, but now you are starting off in good earnest, and you have a right to an answer.

“The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.”

– Marcus Aurelius


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