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The Lucilius Parables, Volume I


December 16th, 2018

Lucilius picked up his godson for the day and found the boy was in a funk.


“Are you ok?” Lucilius asked.


“Yea,” the boy lied.



“Sure doesn’t seem like it, what’s up?”


The boy looked off as they walked away from his parent’s home.  “I got put in a new school this year, and none of my friends from last year are with me.”


“What about the kids in the new school? Any friends there?”




“Well, the funny thing about friends is that you only need to do one thing to get more friends.”


“What’s that,” the boy asked.


“You just need to be a good friend to people.”


“But how do you be a friend to people who don’t want you as a friend?”


Lucilius thought for a moment, trying to penetrate the haze of his own memories about those formative times.  But everything seemed so vague and he could sense the pollution of his own adult perspective on those old realities.  Lucilius decided to change tactics a little bit.


“Well, you are a bit right,” Lucilius said, “it is a bit of a crap shoot about who you find yourself around.”


“So what am I supposed to do?” the young boy asked.


“Well, we could take a chance, but it might not work.” 


“What’s that?” the boy asked.


“Well, there’s a way to sort of read your future, but it’s risky, because knowing your future can drive you a little nuts.”


“I wanna do it.”  The young boy said.


“Ok,” Lucilius said.  He stopped and took some paper from his knapsack, squared it and started folding it.  Then he pulled out a pen and started writing on the fortune teller.  Once he was done, he showed it to the boy.


“Ever seen one of these?”


“No,” the boy said.


“It’s a fortune teller.”


“How’s it work?”


“Pick one of the four words.”


“Truth,” the boy said.


Lucilius spelled out, T-R-U-T-H, pulling the fortune teller apart each way.  Then he held open the fortune teller for the boy to look at the words inside. 


“Pick another word.”


“Friends,” the boy said.


Lucilius again spelled out the word.  F-R-I-E-N-D-S, and then held the fortune teller open for the boy to pick again.


“One more,” Lucilius said.


“Happiness,” the boy said.


Lucilius flipped open the inside of the fortune teller and held it out for the boy to read.


“You will see the crowd single someone out, and then you will see you chance to be kind, and before long they will all call you friend.”


A limp smile rose on the boy’s face, and the two kept walking along.


Years later while looking through his godfather’s abandoned possessions, the boy, now grown found the fortune teller tucked away.  He smiled, repiling the papers, but then hesitated.  He went back and pulled the fortune teller back out and opened it completely to look at the rest of the fortunes.  His godfather had reworded the same sentiment over and over so there was no opportunity to pick anything else.

Check out the Tinkered Thinking   Reading List

Dive in to the Archives

Podcast Ep. 245: A Lucilius Parable: Believe to See

Tinkered Thinking

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