Here is a short story about a little boy named Johnny…
Little Johnny was born into a loving family. Love has surrounded him during his entire early childhood life, and he feels contentment and peace in his heart. He is just about to turn three years old, and his inner child is shining in all its glory. When Johnny starts school, he is introduced to a new world filled with a whole bunch of novel experiences and emotions. Little Johnny has to adapt to these new life experiences.
On the first day of school, Johnny experiences a brand-new world. Class starts when the teacher asks everyone to introduce himself or herself. When it is Johnny’s turn to tell everyone his name and age, all eyes turn to him. All of a sudden, Johnny feels an inner anxiety he has never felt before.
Next, it is blocks time, a few minutes for all the kids to play with the blocks the teacher has piled on the floor. Little Johnny goes to pick up a block, Nick pushes him over, and Johnny falls to the floor. Nick laughs at Johnny and calls him a weakling. Now Johnny feels an inner fear toward something he has not felt before.
When blocks time is over, Johnny has to get out crayons and paper. The teacher first shows the kids how to draw the letter A. The teacher puts the crayons on the table, and all the kids grab at them, trying to pick their favorite colors. When all the kids are done, Johnny is left with the black crayon and wishes he could have gotten a better color. The teacher shows everyone how to draw an A. Johnny follows her directions and makes a perfect A on his paper. He looks over at some of the other children’s papers and sees his classmates scribbling random lines and shapes. Johnny feels proud he made the A. Little Megan comes up to little Johnny, steals his paper, and shows and tells everyone she drew the A. Little Johnny discovers an entirely new emotion of anger. He doesn’t understand why she would do that, and he feels frustration and anger toward her.
At break time, Little Johnny needs to pee. No one told him where the bathroom was in this new place. Where is it? Ah! Johnny finds a corner and pees on the floor. The teacher finds pee on the floor, and a young girl named Julia yells, “It was Johnny!” He feels humiliated, guilty, and shameful and regrets peeing on the floor where he wasn’t supposed to. He goes home with all these new negative perspectives that have replaced his inner feelings of contentment. That day, Johnny went to class a loving child. He came home drowned in inner negativity, devoid of love. In just one day, he experienced a variety of negative emotions—shame, guilt, fear, anger, and sadness. Little Johnny realizes he felt more comfortable in the loving home and tells his mommy, “I don’t want to go to school tomorrow.” He feels anxiety and fear about going back. The cycle of inner suffering begins.
Negative emotions become so normal by the time Johnny is an adult that he now carries them with confidence. A colder John who feels like a victim of the world replaced Little Johnny who once begged for love. John feels forced to react to the perceptually crazy, at times negative world with equally negative force in order to survive. The only freedom he gets is from the love of his family.
John is tired of waiting for a day to come that will bring him peace and happiness. He wants to experience it now. He searches for answers and comes across this website, which tells him that nothing in the world can change the way we feel inside without us reacting to the world and changing the way we feel toward it. It is all about our feelings and perceptions toward everything else that determines our inner feelings in each moment. Whatever thoughts we send out, we feel them. For example, loving thoughts return love. Hateful thoughts bring back anger. Send out the exact thoughts that would cause the resulting emotion you want to experience.
John has made a new discovery. The world didn’t change at all the moment he walked into his class the first day of school, where he experienced all that inner suffering. The only change was inside of him.