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The idiot who died of thirst next to a full well


Earlier today, I heard a story that I resonated with deeply and felt like sharing. You may've heard it before:

Some dehydrated guy travels through a desert, looks everywhere for water, and constantly passes by empty wells. In addition to being super thirsty, this guy's on a roller coaster of emotional highs and lows-- highs because every time he sees a well he thinks he's about to take a sip of water, and lows because every time he looks inside he sees an empty well. This keeps happening, until he eventually stops looking inside the wells and assumes they are all empty. Finally, he reaches a full well. But he's too bitter and perpetually disappointed to look inside and notice the water, and he eventually passes out from thirst, right next to the full well.

That's the story of the idiot who died from thirst right next to a well filled with water. It wasn't the lack of water that killed him. It was his own assumption that there would be no water.

I can't help but relate to the idiot. Sometimes after traveling in the desert for a while, you bump into a well filled with water-- a wave of life-changing opportunities, friendship, chance at love-- but you're too afraid to reach inside, because the sheer disappointment from another empty well would be unbearable. It's the epitome of perpetual bitterness and self-sabotaging cynicism, really. The world beats you down then hands you everything you ever wanted on a silver platter and you blow it off in disbelief.

Fuck. I'd better not die before I reach inside.


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