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Our Winner - The Young Man and the Therapist

                      By CB McCall

A young man was walking with his therapist.

“I’m so sad,” he said. “My true love has abandoned me.”

“Ah,” said the therapist, “but that is the past. Mindfulness tells us to concentrate on the here and now. Look at this delightful, purple heather blowing in the winter sunshine.”

“And I’m so anxious,” said the young man. “I’ve been distracted at work, and I’m sure my boss is going to fire me.”

“Ah,” said the therapist, “but that is the future. Mindfulness tells us to concentrate on the here and now. Listen to those seagulls, calling as they wheel above the cliffs.”

They paused at the highest point of the bluff and looked out over the sea.

“I’m so hungry,” said the young man. “I keep trying to remind myself of the good breakfast I ate before I came out - but that is the past, and mindfulness tells us concentrate on the here and now.”

“Well, yes,” said the therapist, putting his hand on the young man’s shoulder, “and what you are experiencing offers an excellent reminder that bodily sensations anchor us in the present moment…”

“And I’m so cold,” said the young man. “That wind is biting. I keep trying to remind myself that there is a warm fire waiting for me at home - but that is the future, and mindfulness tells us concentrate on here and now.”

“Indeed,” said the therapist, squeezing the young man’s shoulder firmly, “and what you are experiencing offers an excellent opportunity to accept the present without trying to change it…”

“Then I suppose I must accept what a wretched creature I am,” the young man said. “In the present moment, I have no relationship or career. I’m ravenous. I’m freezing, and my only human contact is with a man whose offers no advice other than to get used to it.”

And he stepped forward over the edge, dragging the therapist with him as he fell.