Once upon a time, Discourse possessed a creative seed that in the right conditions had the power to germinate into better understanding among people and offer new solutions to their problems. The wise and the elderly knew how to take care of the creative seed and help it sprout into a peaceful growth until one day a stranger showed up at Discourse’s door.
“What’s your name?” Discourse asked.
“I am The Grumpy Gremlin,” replied the stranger. “You, Discourse, can’t even imagine all the threats and dangers that are lurking out there. Hidden in the dark, nagging worries, stewing self-sabotage, debilitating doubt, and paralyzing fear wait for the right moment to pounce and send chills down your spine. And slimy worms are about to eat your creative seed. “
Discourse looked around in horror. “What can I do?’ “Can you help me?”
“All right,” said The Grumpy Gremlin. “I will protect you against threats and dangers out there, but you have to give me something in return.”
“What can I give you?” asked Discourse.
“Your good mood,” The Grumpy Gremlin replied.
Discourse thought the Grumpy Gremlin’s request was strange. What’s the value of the good mood, anyways? And he accepted the offer.
As days passed, Discourse grew sad and blue as he became aware of every possible threat out there. This realization even gave him indigestion. One evening, Discourse was sitting by the fire when he noticed a shadow darting across the wall of his house. Spooked, Discourse jumped around and saw a strange creature creeping across the room. “Who are you and what are you doing in my house?” Discourse yelled.
“So sorry to bother you, Discourse. I am your Inner Critic. I was always here, but you were too happy to pay any attention to me.”
Discourse listened in disbelief as The Inner Critic’s voice grew louder and louder.
“Just look at yourself, Discourse. You turned into a laughing stock. You are just fuming and fuming, but you have nothing useful to say. What will people think of you?”
“What should I do?” asked Discourse meekly.
“Here is what you do,” The Inner Critic replied angrily. “You listen to me carefully. I will protect you against the harsh judgment and the ridicule of your neighbors. But you have to promise me something in return.”
“What is it,” asked Discourse, embarrassed and upset with himself.
“Promise me that you will always carry your creative seed in a tightly closed sack and you will never venture into unknown territory.”
“But if I always keep the creative seed in a closed sack, how will it grow without the sunlight?” protested Discourse.
But The Inner Critic just hissed, “What do you know?”
So, Discourse reluctantly agreed to The Inner Critic’s offer.
Discourse kept the promise. He carried his creative seed in a tightly closed sack as he walked along the beaten path. One day, during his usual walk, a monkey jumped from a tree and grabbed the sack with the creative seed. Discourse was too absorbed by his own sad thoughts to notice The Mad Monkey sooner. He tried to catch her but she ran into the forest and just kept jumping from tree to tree. Discourse chased The Mad Monkey for a full hour but had to stop because he got tired of running in circles.
And that is how Discourse lost his creative seed, tricked by The Grumpy Gremlin, The Inner Critic, and The Mad Monkey into giving away his good mood, courage, curiosity, and a peaceful, open mind.