One day, the village wise man heard about a visitor from a neighbouring village who was coming to visit him. The visitor was coming to inquire about a rumour he’d heard regarding the three abilities.
He was said to be a greedy man who always wanted more than everyone else; so, after hearing about the three abilities that hold the secret to a meaningful life, he decided that he must acquire them for himself.
“While travelling to see the wise man, the visitor’s mind wandered to thoughts of what the three abilities might be. Maybe, he thought, one would be the ability to rule over mankind. Or maybe, one is the ability to change the world.
Could it be, he thought, the ability to win the praises of my fellow villagers? He could hardly contain his excitement; how great and mighty he felt he would be, if only those were the abilities.
“The visitor finally gained audience with the wise man and eagerly asked? “Is it true that there are three abilities that hold the secret to a meaningful life? And, if so, how can I acquire them?”
The wise man gazed thoughtfully at the eager visitor for a moment and then responded; “Yes, these three abilities do exist…and they are meaningful only to people of greatness.” The visitor hurriedly assured the wise man; “Oh yes, I am a man of true greatness. The three abilities will not be wasted by sharing them with me.”
Leaning toward the visitor with narrowed eyes, the wise man uttered: “Then you must pay very close attention; for these abilities are greater than all others in their capacity to influence humanity.” The greedy visitor nodded in anticipation.
“The first of these great abilities is the ability to rule over man – the man is yourself and the ability is Responsibility. The second is the ability to be answerable and liable for the changes over man. Again, the man is yourself, and the ability is Accountability. The third of these abilities is the ability to win the praise of your fellow villagers because you are believable when you speak. This ability is Credibility.”
The visitor sat back, mumbling to himself, “Responsibility, Accountability, Credibility…” As the realisation of the message sunk in, he jumped to his feet and exclaimed: “This isn’t what I expected at all!
You’re not giving me something I can acquire; these are things I’d have to do-all the time! Who on earth would have the stomach for such tasks?” And with that he turned on his heels with a huff and strode home.
The wise man smiled to himself and said, “Men of greatness have the stomach for they are those with the capability to exercise the three abilities.”
A good number of people have signed up to be Partners for Sight. Membership is entirely free. The only obligation is to yourself and members of your immediate family. You made a promise that you would not carelessly allow yourself to contribute to the millions of the blind and visually impaired in our society by ensuring that you and your family members have an eye examination at least once a year.
This conscious decision or choice to control your future (Response – ability or Ability to respond to that which is right for yourself) is the first secret for preserving your sight.
The second secret is like unto the first – Accountability (Account – ability). Simply put, it is the ability to answer for the choice you have made or for your own actions. William Shakespeare in Hamlet says, “This above all: to thine own self be true.” You make a choice and you answer for the consequences of your choice.
As a Partner for Sight, you need the third ability which is Credibility (Credible – ability). All partners must help in raising awareness among members of the public, industry and business as to the silent causes of preventable blindness in the society by passing on the messages that will enhance best practices.
Therefore, partners need credibility. Credibility is the quality, capacity or power of inspiring belief. It involves more than just words but several components, which includes, your body language, integrity, sincerity and reliability.
These three abilities hold the secret to a meaningful life with sight.
Acknowledgement – the anecdote above is from Learn the Lessons Series- the Life’s Journey publications http://www.learnthelessons.com