A hardworking man was fed up with his home, his wife, his town and his job. He asked his heavenly guide to take him to Paradise. "Are you sure?" the guide asked. "There's no turning back once you go to Paradise."
"I'm sure" said the unhappy man. "There's so much noise and chaos here, people aren't nice, my wife complains about all her chores, the neighbors are thoughtless, and my job is boring. I want to leave for good."
The heavenly guide showed the man the road to Paradise. It was to be a two day journey. At the end of the first day, the man decided to catch some sleep under a tree in a large field. He was worried that he might be disoriented when he woke in the morning, so he had the clever idea of leaving his shoes on the road, pointed towards Paradise. This way he could wake up, jump into his shoes and be on his way.
During the night his shoes were turned around. No one knows how this happened, but when the man jumped into them he assumed he was continuing on the road to Paradise. He whistled while he walked, and the closer he got to the town on the horizon he happier he felt. He would soon be in Paradise.
Finally he entered the gates; they seemed so similar to the gates of the town he left. And the people on the streets, they were wearing clothes just like the clothes the people in his village wore. These people were so nice to him! They greeted him with smiles and handshakes; they were energetic but not frantic. He came upon a house that looked an awful lot like his own house; and a women living there looked so much like his own wife. What coincidences! The woman made him a delicious meal and sent him up to a deeply comfortable bed, where quickly he fell asleep. In the morning she handed him some tools--so much like those he had left behind- and he went happily off to work. After all, this is Paradise, so the work is wonderful.
The man lived the rest of his days in this wonderful town, happy with the woman who looked like his wife, and the neighbors who seemed so much like his old neighbors, and doing the work he had always done.
When have you begged to be shown the way to Paradise? When have you been unhappy with your life, your family and friends, your work, your town, your everything? What if you yourself turned your shoes around to see your life from another perspective?
The next time you're ready to call it quits--we all have times like that--take a short journey away from it all. After a good night's sleep jump into your shoes and head back where you came from, with wonder in your eyes and hope in your heart. You'll likely find Paradise right in your own back yard.