I love this story of the Bhudda. I heard it from another storyteller, as is the way with these things. He is Jack Kornfield, and he tells his tales, invoking compassion and loving-kindness, on the Dharma-Seed website. If, like me, you're still seeking stories to tell that make sense of this small life, there's some true wisdom here.
So. The Story:
A farmer seeks out the Bhudda and there unravels a tale of unrelenting woe. Monsoon rains, droughts, thefts, disease, pests, poor harvests, unsatisfactory wife, disobedient children, the full works.
"What shall I do?" The farmer asks the Buddah and waits for a grand solution.
"Everyone," says the Bhuddah, "Has eighty-three problems. I'm afraid I can't help with any of them."
"Well," says the farmer, not much impressed, "You're not all you're cracked up to be, are you?"
The Buddah smiles. " I can, however, save you from the eighty-fourth and most destructive problem,"
(We wait, agog. Do we not?)
"Stop tormenting yourself with, 'Why me?' "